Urgent call from faith leaders to respond generously to DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal

The nation's faith leaders, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Muslim Council of Britain, have urged Christians, Muslims and people of other faiths and none to support the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)'s Indonesia Tsunami Appeal to help those whose lives have been devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 28 September.

200,000 survivors are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Many people have lost their loved ones, been badly injured and are now struggling without enough food and clean water.

The faith-based charities CAFOD, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Tearfund and World Vision UK, which are among the 14 leading UK aid agency members of the DEC, are calling on local churches, mosques and faith communities to support the appeal which launched on Thursday 4 October 2018.

Chris Bain, CEO of CAFOD, said: "I have been horrified by the devastation of the tsunami in Indonesia. So many lives have been lost and affected by this disaster. There is so much to do.

"Our local colleagues in Indonesia are doing their utmost to provide the basics - clean drinking water, food and shelter - to enable people to survive over the coming days and weeks.

"We are already receiving donations from the Catholic community across England and Wales. This money will help provide emergency relief as well as begin the long process towards recovery.

"With the support of the British public and the DEC, our sister agencies on the ground will continue to work around the clock to ensure that families in some of the remotest areas are not beyond reach of vital emergency aid."

Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: "For the Muslim Council of Britain, supporting the Disasters Emergency Committee members to come to the aid of people left devastated by the tsunami in Indonesia is of paramount humanitarian importance. The needs on the ground for food, clean water, sanitation and health care are immense. And people will be traumatised for years to come. We hope they mobilise the generosity of fellow Britons at this hour of need. It is important that the organisations of all faiths and none are coming together at this crucial time to do what they can to alleviate the suffering."

Dr Rowan Williams, Chair of Christian Aid and former Archbishop of Canterbury, said: "The people of Indonesia have suffered a great tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to the survivors of this disaster - of all faiths and none - who are grieving for their loved ones and who have lost everything. It will take a long time to rebuild their communities and even longer to rebuild their lives.

"As people of faith, we are called to stand alongside those in pain and to help the poorest and most vulnerable of our sisters and brothers. I sincerely hope that the public supports the DEC's Indonesia Tsunami Appeal, so that relief can reach those who so desperately need it at this time of great need."

Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Department of International Affairs at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, said: "Our faith and compassion calls us to support our brothers and sisters, who find themselves homeless and traumatised by the devastating impact of Indonesia's tsunami and earthquake. The DEC appeal is a vital way for its members, including CAFOD, to reach hundreds of thousands of people who have lost everything. The emergency aid families receive is more than just aid, it is a sign of hope, that they have not been forgotten. I call on Catholics and all people who care for justice across England and Wales to remember the people of Sulawesi in their prayers and to support the DEC appeal."

Charity supporters are being asked to fundraise, organise collections and to pray for the hundreds of thousands of people in need of food, shelter, clean water and medical care. The money raised will help 13 DEC member charities responding to the crisis to reach more people in dire need with food, medical supplies and other essentials.

To make a donation to the DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque. To donate £5 text SUPPORT to 70000. Texts cost £5 and the whole £5 goes to the DEC INDONESIA TSUNAMI APPEAL. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payer's permission.

Stay up to date with developments in Indonesia, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter: www.twitter.com/decappeal or on Facebook via www.facebook.com/DisastersEmergencyCommittee.

Tags: Indonesia, Tsunami, DEC Appeal, CAFOD

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