Help a CIVET

It’s been a couple of months since I posted in my series about the CIVETS, the emerging economies that are meant to be the next BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China). I was on the “I,” for Indonesia. Sadly, there’s been an oceanic earthquake there and an attendant tsunami that have killed at least 112 and left many more missing.

In the scale of recent disasters like Pakistan and Haiti, it’s small, but Indonesia’s certainly had its share of natural disasters in recent years, as the new Matt Damon movie reminds us.

Relief organizations are apparently having a hard time reaching the affected area. Stay tuned for opportunities to give to the relief effort as I identify them.

Perhaps because of the geographic difficulties, a Google search yielded relatively few results. The American Red Cross, Mercy Corps, Avaaz – none have anything up yet. (I’m writing this around midnight Eastern on Tuesday, though will set it to post in the morning.) This is what Twitter may (may) be good for, as a resource for breaking news when larger news and relief orgs haven’t been able to report out yet. Bizarrely, the most relevant link on an “indonesia” search came from…Tom Cruise. Go figure. Here it is, looks like the local Red Cross in Indonesia. There’s a way to donate in dollars, but it doesn’t look like online.

Remember the principles of smart disaster giving we learned from Haiti and Pakistan:

  • Give cash, not goods.
  • Support organizations that have existing relationships on the ground, it makes the process more efficient and means that more relief gets their sooner.
  • Give to the long-term recovery effort, not just immediate relief.
  • Be OK with the fact that because of what it costs to have an effective on-the-ground response, your dollar now may get into the field weeks or even months later, or on another disaster. Relief orgs need revolving sources of funding, and it’s not like you’re going to say, “no, don’t help those other people in the next disaster.” It’s like providing general operating support, give the organization that’s proven its ability to get help to those who need it the latitude to use the funds in the most effective way.

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One Response to “Help a CIVET”

  1. The Blog Briefly Known as "Democratizing Philanthropy?" » Blog Archive » Helping Japan Says:

    […] what we learned from Haiti last year about giving in […]

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