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The Prince of Wales marks 50 years of the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC)

4th December 2013

The Prince of Wales cuts a cake alongside Salah Saeed, chief Executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee, and Baroness Warsi during a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the Disasters Emergency Council held at Lancaster House, London

The Prince of Wales cuts a cake alongside Salah Saeed, chief Executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee, and Baroness Warsi during a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the Disasters Emergency Council held at Lancaster House, London

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are making a donation to the Philippines typhoon appeal, it was announced, as the total given by the public to help victims of the disaster rose to £68 million.

The news of the undisclosed donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal came as The Prince was due to meet supporters, volunteers and aid workers at a reception in central London to mark the 50th anniversary of the committee.

He is due to hear details of the work of the DEC responding to disasters across the globe including the Philippines typhoon, the crisis in Syria and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

The DEC has run 63 appeals and raised more than £1.1 billion since its launch in 1963 - saving lives and helping to rebuild devastated communities.

The Philippines donation by The Prince and The Duchess comes after they made a donation to the DEC Syria crisis appeal earlier this year following a visit to Syrian refugees in Jordan.

The Royal couple heard first-hand accounts in Jordan of the experiences of refugees from Syria. They were said to have been especially moved by the trauma endured by children caught up in the conflict.

A spokeswoman for the DEC, an alliance of 14 leading charities, said the total raised so far for the Philippines typhoon victims now stands at £68 million.

A Clarence House spokeswoman said: "The Prince of Wales has been kept updated on the situation in the Philippines and wanted to help in whatever way he could."

Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: " We are delighted that HRH The Prince of Wales has made a generous donation to the DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal.

"The response from across the whole nation has been extraordinary and will allow us to help many survivors rebuild their lives."

His Royal Highness said his donation was only representative of the British public's generosity.

"Above all else this sort of occasion gives us an opportunity to remark upon the fact that people in this country seem to be some of the most generous people anywhere in the world," he said in a speech at the DEC's 50th Anniversary reception today.

"It is truly remarkable that so much money is raised so quickly."

The Prince said he was grateful for the opportunity to thank the DEC and the public for their willingness to help people less fortunate.

"Your contribution is truly remarkable," he said.

The Prince said the disaster was also a reminder of modern challenges, like climate change.

"(There are) ever greater extremes when it comes to whether events and disasters, which are also helping to contribute to evermore conflict on the ground over scarce resources and movements of people and so on," he said.

"It does seem to me that perhaps some of these disasters might be a wake-up call in terms of a need to look at the whole issue in an integrated way."