The leader of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has thanked the people of Scotland for their support as the organisation marks 60 years helping people in crisis zones.  

Saleh Saeed OBE, Chief Executive at the DEC, paid tribute to the generosity of Scots at an event in Glasgow City Chambers to celebrate the anniversary.  

During the last six decades the DEC has channelled billions in aid to disaster zones across the world, helping people in their direst need rebuild their lives.  

The Herald: DEC CEO Saleh Saheed OBE - All pics/Gordon TerrisDEC CEO Saleh Saheed OBE - All pics/Gordon Terris (Image: NQ)

Speaking at the event, Mr Saeed said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be here in the wonderful city of Glasgow to mark 60 years of the Disasters Emergency Committee.

“I thank the very generous Scottish public and the Scottish Government for their amazing support for the DEC, and the DEC charities here in Scotland such as Oxfam, save the Children, Islamic Relief, Christian Aid and others.  

“Thank you to everyone who supported the DEC.” 

The Herald: Abdul Bastani of Scots Afghan Council with Church of  Scotland Moderator Rt Rev Sally Foster-FultonAbdul Bastani of Scots Afghan Council with Church of  Scotland Moderator Rt Rev Sally Foster-Fulton (Image: NQ)

Dignitaries gathered in Glasgow on Tuesday night at the event, hosted by Lord Provost Jacqueline McLaren. 

Representatives of diaspora communities in Scotland from places that DEC has supported in the past will attend, including those from Ethiopia, Syria, Turkey, Somalia and Pakistan.  

READ MORE: How Scots' donations are helping Turkey and Syria after devastating earthquakes

There are few places in the world where the DEC has not had a presence, and its vital work continues in disaster areas at this moment, such as Turkey and Syria following the disastrous earthquakes which struck last year.   

The Herald: Lord Provost Jacqueline Maclaren with , left, Claire EnglishLord Provost Jacqueline Maclaren with , left, Claire English (Image: NQ)

In the past 60 years, the UK public has given an astounding £2.4bn to 77 national appeals, responding with empathy and generosity to the plight of others.   

The DEC began life after a cyclone hit Sri Lanka in 1963 and the High Commissioner in London broadcast an appeal to the British public for help.    

READ MORE: Dignitaries mark 60th anniversary of the Disasters Emergency Committee

Lord Astor, chairman of the Standing Conference of British Organisations for Aid to Refugees, proposed that relief agencies and interested parties should cooperate closely together to provide relief after a disaster overseas.    

In Scotland, the DEC attracts high-profile celebrity support, such the musicians, including the bands Belle and Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, Deacon Blue and others, who gave up their time to stage a major concert for the South East Asia tsunami appeal in 2005. 

The Herald: Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart MurdochBelle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch (Image: NQ)

Belle and Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch, who performed at the reception, said he had been glad to lend his support through the years.  

He said: “We’re here to support 60 years of the DEC, helping people during worst crisis of their lives.  

“We’ve been asked on a number of occasions to support and be spokespeople and we’ve been very glad to do our small bit when the occasion has arisen.”