Last week, Joint Council listened in on a White House Nepal briefing call led by Gayle Smith, Senior Director of the National Security Council. Here are some of the important takeaways from the call in regards to providing assistance on the ground:
For many reasons, please do not send material goods.
- The transportation infrastructure is currently overloaded and sending goods that do not have proper transport avenues in place will put even more of a burden on the system.
- A high percentage of material goods that are donated during these crises do not reach the victims.
- Food items that are not in the local diet can do more harm than good in helping the victims recover.
- By providing free goods, it can harm the local vendors and can prevent the overall economy from recovering.
- If you have already collected material goods to send, please visit CIDI’s page on 55 Ways to Repurpose a Material Donation.
- Cash donations are the best option in order to provide the quickest, most effective form of assistance. Cash contributions allow relief organizations to immediately purchase exactly what is needed without the cost or delay of transportation. Cash also allows relief organizations to purchase from local vendors, thus stimulating the local economy.
- Please only send volunteers with the necessary technical skills and experience to aid in the disaster recovery.
Please send these guidelines to anyone organizing relief efforts for the Nepal earthquake.