'Explosive' Ebola crisis prompts Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for donations

The Disasters Emergency Committee is launching an appeal over the Ebola crisis Credit: Reuters

Britain's Disasters Emergency Committee is launching an appeal over the Ebola crisis - the first time in its 50-year history it has ever called for public donations in response to a disease outbreak.

The committee, made up of 13 of the UK's major aid charities, warned that the effects of Ebola threaten to become "a humanitarian catastrophe" within 60 days unless urgent help is provided.

It described the spread of the disease as "explosive".

Ebola as infected more than 10,000 people and has killed almost 5,000 - devastating communities, health services and people's ability to support themselves in the west African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky will carry the appeal on Thursday, the DEC said, with support from the committee's major partners including ITN, BT, Post Office, British Bankers Association, Royal Mail, RadioCentre and NewsNow.

How the public donations will be spent:

  • £25 buys cleaning kits including bleach, soap and a bucket for three families at risk from Ebola

  • £50 supplies basic protective clothing such as gloves, masks, boots and gowns for three volunteers supporting people under quarantine

  • £100 provides training to a community on how to keep themselves safe and help stop the spread of Ebola.

How to make a donation to the DEC Ebola Crisis Appeal:

  • Visit www.dec.org.uk

  • Call the 24 hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900

  • Donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.