'Phenomenal' response as East Africa famine fund reaches £36m


More than £36 million has been raised to help famine-hit East Africa, where hundreds of thousands of children are at risk of starvation.

The new total was revealed just a day after six aid workers were killed in South Sudan, the deadliest attack on humanitarian workers in the area in four years.

The workers' nationalities have not been publicised, nor have the names of the organisations they worked with.

The multi-million pound total was raised for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal in just 11 days, and described as "phenomenal" by appeal's the chief executive Saleh Saeed.

The funds will go towards providing food, water and medical treatment for people in need amid prolonged drought and conflict.

The conditions have left 16 million people across East Africa at risk of starvation and more than 800,000 children under the age of five severely malnourished, the DEC said.

Mr Saeed said: "The response has been phenomenal.

"I cannot thank the British public, trusts and companies enough for their generous support to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal, which has now raised an incredible £36 million.

"Our member charities are already on the ground providing life-saving assistance to some of the worst affected people.

"Your generosity is helping them step up their response, providing more food, water and medical care to millions of people across East Africa who are in dire need.

"Every donation makes a huge difference, so if you haven't had a chance to support please don't delay, donate today."

Of the total more than £3 million was raised in Scotland, more than £1 million in Wales and almost £800,000 in Northern Ireland.