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14Jan/102

UK Disasters Emergency Committee launches Haiti appeal

The UK's Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has launched an appeal for the earthquake victims in Haiti.

hatiThe umbrella organisation, which co-ordinates responses to major disasters overseas, has already received money from the Queen.

More than £6m has also been donated by the UK government. A television appeal is expected to be broadcast on Friday.

The 7.0-magnitude quake hit the Caribbean island on Tuesday and tens of thousands are feared dead.

The DEC has already started to take donations and broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Al-Jazeera have agreed to broadcast the appeal.

"The aid effort isn't on the scale that's required and we need people's help to scale it up urgently," he said.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on the whole world to respond to the "catastrophic" quake.

"The last 24 hours have been truly horrific for the people of Haiti. It is a tragedy beyond imagination," he said.

"I do urge people to support where they can the Disaster Emergency Committee Haiti appeal."

The funds raised by the DEC's Haiti Earthquake Appeal will support the efforts of its 13 member agencies which include British Red Cross, Cafod, Care International UK, Christian Aid, Help the Aged, Oxfam and Save the Children.

Donate via the DEC website or by telephoning 0370 60 60 900.

This story is by the BBC - Read the full BBC story here