Disasters Emergency Committee Covid-19 response
John Ayling & Associates
The Disasters Emergency Committee supports countries facing humanitarian catastrophes. The DEC’s Coronavirus Appeal began in July 2020 when Covid-19 was devastating fragile states like Yemen, Syria and Somalia. Millions were living in displacement camps without access to medical care, clean water or adequate food. Appeal funds would supply families with clean water, equip frontline health workers with supplies and help combat malnutrition.
Working with the DEC since 2013 had taught John Ayling & Associates (JAA) the importance of capitalising quickly on public sympathy after a disaster. Our mantra is “you never get the first two days back”. We devised a dual rapid-response strategy:
1.Maximise immediacy to capitalise on news coverage
2.Place messages in proximity to relevant editorial
Within 48 hours our team planned and bought across 48 TV stations, 11 national newspapers and seven digital vendors. Success came from JAA’s speed, agility, rigorous planning and determined negotiation.
UK donations reached £18 million within two weeks and by May 2021 had exceeded £51 million. From providing over 10,000 health workers in Syria with PPE, to supplying 21,000 Syrian households with basic hygiene equipment, to distributing 10,000 food parcels in Yemen - these vital funds have saved thousands of lives.