Disasters Emergency Committee income rises sharply to £45.5m

The charity's total income was up by more than £16m from the previous year because of a number of new appeals

DEC accounts
DEC accounts

The Disasters Emergency Committee’s income rose sharply in the last financial year because of more appeals than usual, according to its newly published annual report and accounts.

The organisation, which consists of 14 leading UK aid charities, increased its income from £29m to £45.5m in the financial year ending 31 March 2019.

On average the DEC launches 1.5 appeals a year, but it began two in 2018/19: the Cyclone Idai appeal and the Indonesia tsunami appeal.

The former, for victims of a cyclone in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, generated £25m in the first 10 days alone.

Expenditure for the year fell from £28.8m to £27.8m, which included £22.3m committed to members for humanitarian programmes.

Action Against Hunger became the 14th DEC member during the financial year, which also saw the start of a new five-year strategy in April.

In her foreword to the annual report, Sue Inglish, chair of the DEC, said the strategy had "given us a moment to take stock and assess our goals".

She added: "I’m happy to say that much of our new strategy reaffirms the path that we have followed in the previous period, renewing our charitable objects, vision, mission, values and the three criteria for launching an appeal.

"It also reaffirms the essential role our broadcast partners play in launching our appeals."

The average number of employees at the DEC, which has been operating since 1963, rose from 21 to 25.

The cost of salaries and wages increased from £760,000 to £897,000.

Saleh Saeed, the chief executive, was the highest-paid employee. His salary rose from £75,538 to £78,533.

He also received an accommodation allowance of £10,000 and pension contributions, including contributions by way of employee salary exchange, of £27,222.

Simon Beresford, director of fundraising at the DEC, said it did not engage in ongoing revenue generation. "We don’t therefore tend to think in terms of financial year-ends," he said. "We think in terms of appeals."

Beresford added that the DEC released funding to members in phases, which explained why only £22.3m was committed  in 2018/19 even though £45.5m was raised.

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