Disasters Emergency Committee reports £30m drop in income

The income of the DEC fell to almost £40m last year, down from £70m the previous year, its latest accounts show

Disaster relief in Democratic Republic of Congo
Disaster relief in Democratic Republic of Congo

The income of the Disasters Emergency Committee, the charity coalition that launches appeals in response to humanitarian crises, fell by almost £30m last year, its latest accounts show.

The accounts, filed with Companies House this week, show the DEC’s income was £40.7m in the year ending 31 March 2015, compared with £70m for the previous 12 months.

The charity’s income fluctuates considerably depending on the nature, number and scale of the disasters to which it responds: the figure was £6.4m in 2012/13, £42.8m in 2011/12 and £73.7m in 2009/10.

The largest appeal run by the DEC in 2014/15 was for those affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It was launched in March 2014 and raised £36m.

The most significant appeal in the previous year was in response to the typhoon in the Philippines in November 2013, which raised £97m.

The DEC, which is made up of 13 major aid charities including Oxfam, the British Red Cross and Save the Children, recorded expenditure of £41.6m in 2014/15.

Saleh Saeed, chief executive of the DEC, said in a statement that the DEC’s income was almost entirely dependent upon the British public’s response to emergency appeals.

"In 2014/2015 the DEC ran appeals for the Ebola crisis and for Gaza, both of which were very successful, and the Syria appeal remained open from the previous year," he said.

"However in 2013/2014 the DEC launched the Philippines Typhoon appeal, which was one of our most successful appeals ever. Natural disasters always tend to raise more money than other types of emergency. In 2013/2014 the DEC also continued to receive funds from the Syria Crisis appeal, which was kept open for an unprecedented 19 months."

The accounts also show the average number of staff employed by the committee rose from 12 in 2013/14 to 15 last year.

They show that Saeed was paid £90,460 over the course of the year – an increase of almost £3,000 on the previous year.

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