Monday, 04 February 2019
Giving After a Disaster Strikes
It’s that time of year again - cyclone season in the Pacific.
If disaster strikes, how can we best help our family, friends, and wider Pacific communities to get back on their feet as quickly as possible? What can we do to aid recovery? The charities and government agencies responsible for picking up the pieces after a cyclone have a resounding response to these questions – cash is best!
Relief agencies are able to use cash donations quickly and easily to buy exactly what is needed on the ground, and send it exactly where it is needed. The necessary items get to the right people and places without delay. They can get the best prices as they can buy in bulk, creating more value for every dollar donated and helping more people in the process.
Containers of goods get caught for a long period of time in customs. Usually the costs - for shipment, for custom’s tariffs, costs involved for employing people to check, evaluate and distribute the goods - far outweigh the value of the donated goods. Often the goods do not even get to people, they have to be destroyed, as it is too costly to process the container. Even a cost is attached to disposing of the goods – money that could have been spent on food and shelter.
Sending money keeps spend local – it is used in a way that keeps the local economy going, despite the upheaval, providing work and generating cash flow for the people who need it.
Sending cash is better for the environment – it limits the impact caused by the burden of extra shipments and local transportation. If you’d like to help out, organising a fundraiser to send money to a relief agency on the ground is a wonderful alternative to sending goods.
While all donations are well intentioned and come from the heart, we first and foremost want to help those who truly need it at that moment – and the best way to achieve that is to send cash.