Quite how the British public, more accustomed to reacting to humanitarian crises than averting them, would respond to the preventative message was unknown. But it proved overwhelmingly positive, with celebrity Claire Sweeney's televised appeal triggering 30,000 calls overnight.
Sheila Boswell, press officer at the Disasters Emergency Committee, the umbrella body of UK aid agencies that is co-ordinating the appeal, said: "It's a brilliant start. People don't want to see horrific images on TV in September and that appears to have made our appeal more attractive."
The media also responded positively, with the Daily Mirror enhancing its reputation for social consciousness by encouraging readers to give ?xA3;25.