British donations for Haiti already top £2m

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The Independent Online

Britons have donated more than £2 million to help earthquake-stricken Haiti in the space of just 36 hours, it was announced today.

The Disasters Emergency Committee said that the money was given online even before the first radio and television appeals were broadcast today.

Among the donations was a private gift from the Queen, said a DEC spokesman.

The appeal by the committee - which brings together a number of prominent British-based aid charities - was publicised by a Twitter message spread virally through internet social networks.

It was helped by high-profile endorsements, including from Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

DEC chief executive Brendan Gormley said: "We are delighted at the generosity of the British people even before our major television and radio appeals hit the airwaves.

"Efforts on the ground have been hampered by a lack of power and communications problems after the devastating quake but aid is starting to get through and DEC members are working hard in the field.

"Our message to the public is: thank you for your efforts so far but it is vitally important that people continue to donate to increase the amount of aid that can be delivered to help the millions of people affected by this terrible earthquake."

The £2 million figure for online giving was hit at around 8am today. Donations by other means are not included.