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November 15, 2013 at 6:15 AM

Getting the right help to the Philippines

Storm victims scavenge for food and supplies. (Ted Aljibe/Pool via The New York Times)

Storm victims scavenge for food and supplies.
(Ted Aljibe/Pool via The New York Times)

Good intentions will not relieve the suffering caused by the typhoon-inflicted disaster that struck the Philippines. Two fine Associated Press stories stirred some belated confidence that help is on the way.

AP National Writer Sharon Cohen provided a measure of truth-telling with a plea to those who wish to help:  send a financial donation to a reputable charity. Donated “stuff” is of no use. Disasters around the world produce photos of bales of T-shirts shipped overseas in the name of helping the hungry, homeless and injured.

I view these shipments of useless supplies as more inspired by an opportunity to clean out the closet and write-up a nice gilded tax deduction, than any real instinct to help.

Any size donation to the Red Cross, World Vision, Mercy Corps or the religious outlet of one’s choice can provide money to buy local supplies, provide the exact items that are desperately needed by the storm victims and boost the local economy.

Another AP story, over the bylines of Oliver Teves and Kristen Gelineau, reported the arrival of the USS George Washington aircraft carrier, a destroyer and two huge supply ships. Helicopters, equipment and expertise will made a huge difference.

The story described a kind of tragic taxonomy of disaster relief. Supplies arrive in a central area, but sit waiting to be delivered to the scene of all the suffering. They finally get sent to a local airport or distribution site, but there is no gasoline or fuel for local vehicles to get the goods to remote areas, or even nearby.

Here is a link to places to send donations to route financial aid to the Philippines.

0 Comments | Topics: donations, Philippines, relief

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