South east was most generous in giving to Asia Quake Appeal

Donors in the south east of England were the most generous contributors to the Disasters Emergency Committee's Asia Quake Appeal, according to figures out this week.

Supporters in the south east, including London and East Anglia, gave 46 per cent of the £59.8m total, despite representing only 35 per cent of the UK's population in the 2001 census. The north, with 24 per cent of the UK population, contributed 16 per cent, while the south west, with 8 per cent of the population, gave 11 per cent. The Midlands - 16 per cent of the UK - gave 12 per cent.

The results show that internet giving outstripped telephone donations for the first time ever in a DEC appeal. Online donations to support victims of the earthquake that took place in Pakistan and India a year ago this week reached £8.84m, or nearly 15 per cent of the total, compared with £8.72m for the phone.

It marks another step in the rapid rise of the internet in emergency fundraising. During the DEC's 2004 Sudan appeal, the internet accounted for 9 per cent of the £19m. The tsunami appeal saw that figure rise to 15 per cent.

A spokesman for the DEC said: "The internet has really come of age as a mechanism for emergency co-ordinated fundraising. People are extremely generous at times of global disaster. After the Asian earthquake they were especially so."

However, the most common vehicle for donations was still banks, PO boxes or at Post Office counters. These methods made up 71 per cent of the total but are losing ground to online giving.

The Asia Quake Appeal raised £59.8m in total and was the DEC's second most successful appeal ahead of 1999's Kosovo refugee appeal, which raised £53m. The tsunami appeal raised £423m. Of the £59.8m raised by the Quake Appeal, more than £40m was given directly to the DEC. The remainder was raised by DEC members during the appeal.

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