An emergency relief appeal for the crisis in Gaza raised £3 million in its first week – despite anger over broadcasters’ refusal to show it. Skip related content Protests gathered pace against Sky and the BBC’s ban on screening the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) broadcast earlier this week. But DEC said that, thanks to funding since the appeal was launched, aid reached almost 800,000 people with vital supplies of blankets, food, water, sanitation and medical equipment in the conflict-stricken region. Brendan Gormley, chief executive of the committee, said: "We are delighted that the public have responded in this way to the appeal. The money raised is enabling aid agencies on the ground to reach people in dire need of humanitarian assistance."
The BBC and Sky refused to show the emergency appeal, arguing that to do so would compromise their impartiality. BBC director general Mark Thompson said the decision not to broadcast the appeal was "absolutely" in line with the corporation’s broader approach to impartiality and appeals. However, DEC warned the situation remained critical, claiming a million people were without access to a safe and adequate water supply.
Mr Gormley added: "More funds are needed so that DEC members can continue to meet people’s immediate needs. If you have not donated already, please give what you can so that we can continue our aid efforts. Every penny raised will go straight to helping the most vulnerable people in Gaza." A special committee set up by the BBC Trust is examining its decision to refuse the broadcast, after more than 15,000 people complained and protesters gathered outside several of its studios.
More than 100 MPs from all parties signed an early day motion criticising the BBC and Sky News for refusing to show the appeal. Terrestrial broadcasters ITV, Channel 4 and Five showed the televised appeal on Monday.