Wednesday, 28 January 2009

An appeal for humanity

The Disaster Emergency Committee in the UK was set up in 1963 in an effort to coordinate appeals in response to major disasters.

It is made up of 13 member agencies which provide relief during humanitarian disasters:
  • ActionAid
  • British Red Cross
  • Care International
  • Christian Aid
  • Concern
  • Help the Aged
  • Islamic Relief
  • Merlin
  • Oxfam
  • Save the Children
  • Tearfund
  • World Vision
Additionally it is supported by a Rapid Response Network made up of broadcasters, the press, banks, the Post Office, British Telecom (BT), and others, to publicise and raise funds.

During the last few days, the DEC has launched an appeal for the humanitarian crisis now existing in Gaza. They have prepared a video to be shown on television, but the BBC, and now too, Sky News, have refused to show it on the grounds that it might compromise public confidence in their impartiality.

This is the video.

The Archbishop of York said, "There is the wonderful story of the Good Samaritan. The Levites walked away, the priests walked away, and one guy took the risk to help the person who was injured. I don't know if you can be partial or impartial when somebody is in need. I've a feeling it is humanity and nothing else."

Ironically, the furore over the refusal to screen the appeal has probably done more to bring it to the public's attention than any brief screening would have done.


  1. Interesting! Thanks for bringing it to the public's attention too - well done!

  2. I am reminded by the BBC and SKY of "Eyeless in Gaza".

    Keep up the good work.

  3. You know full well how I feel about this. I am not ashamed to tell you I cried watching this. The children are the hardest hit, because they do not have the mental capabilities of understanding the whole senseless war. I am tweeting and twittering this. I also will stumble. Thank you for posting this!

  4. @Renny, well if the BBC won't do it, I will! :)
    @Elaine, yes, absolutely, though I do think in a way they've shot themselves in the foot by the extra publicity.
    @Ettarose, I knew you'd understand, and feel how I feel. Thanks for the tweeting - I haven't delved into that ever.

  5. To show the effects of the war is perhaps not impartial, as the BBC claims (it is too accusing against those who commit the bigger attrocities) ; but there is no doubt that to (try to) hide these effects is even more partial. At least, as you say, this decision has brought more attention to the humanitarian crisis than the DEC campaign itself would probably have – and BBC got the negative worlwide publicity they deserved...

  6. Hello Pablo! The argument of partiality from the BBC would be more convincing if they hadn't aired appeals for Rwanda, Kosovo and Darfur. I don't understand why those appeals were acceptable, and the Gaza one not.

  7. Read more about the work of the British Red Cross in Gaza on
    or if you would like to donate to our appeal please visit

  8. Stela Yordanova31 March 2009 at 12:41

    British Red Cross head of international finance, Andy Brimlaw, is visiting the Palestine Red Crescent to report on how the moneay has been spent. He will be twittering about his trip


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin