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Today our thoughts go out to those who are suffering from the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday, and to all those contributing to relief efforts there.
An email we received this morning from Saundra Schimmelpfennig, who has experience coordinating tsunami relief in Thailand and writes the blog Good Intentions Are Not Enough, highlights some of the problems that arise in responding to a large scale disaster such as this one:
Immediately after a disaster is prime fundraising time for NGOs. So they all rush in and put out immediate appeals before there's any clear idea of what or how much they can actually help. Only fund those that already have an office established in country because of the amount of time and money it takes to get anything more than just search and rescue up and running. If you want to move into anything such as temporary shelters, food distribution, those with an already established presence will know the people and systems better and be able to work more quickly and less expensively.
I prefer for people to try to support small, local CBOs [Community-based organizations] as they are already on the ground responding, and will be helping in the country for a long time.
Ideas for how to help and where to give:
- Philanthropy Action Advice for Donors to Haiti
- Good Intentions Are Not Enough on Suggestions for donors in choosing NGO's to donate to after a disaster and Donating medicine after disasters
- Tales from the Hood on What to Do: The Donor Edition- Emergency Response
- Idealist.org on Disaster Relief Volunteering
- Chris Blattman suggests Haiti Partners
- Tyler Cowen and many others recommend Paul Farmer's organization, Partners in Health
- GlobalGiving has a list of 20 organizations already working in Haiti and has set up a Relief Fund for Haiti Earthquake
Getting and sharing information:
- Ushahidi Crowd-sourcing Disaster Map, News, Photos, Live Reports
- For real-time news on Twitter: @NYTimes/haiti-earthquake; @BreakingNews/haiti-quake; @nprnews/haiti-earthquake; @latimes/haiti-quake
- New York Times Gleaning Information from Haiti Online
- Alertnet Haiti Earthquake Live blog
First-person accounts and in-depth coverage: