Disasters Emergency Committee to launch Congo appeal

The Disasters Emergency Committee will today launch an appeal to raise funds for people affected by the unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The committee, a British coalition of 13 of the world's international relief agencies, will start the appeal with broadcasts on selected TV stations after the evening news bulletins.

The BBC will broadcast a 90-second television appeal presented by actor Juliet Stephenson, and fellow actor Jonathan Pryce will front the broadcast on ITV. Channel 4 and Sky News will also air the appeal after their evening news bulletins. More than 200 local radio stations are set to run the appeal fronted by Pryce in the next two weeks.

Banners and photos promoting the campaign will appear on social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Flickr, and web search engine Google will feature adverts encouraging the public to donate. All major UK banks and post offices are supporting the appeal by taking donations at all their outlets.

Funds raised during the six-month appeal will provide aid for an estimated 250,000 civilians displaced by escalating violence in the region.

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