Asians Share Thoughts on Haiti Disaster and Relief Efforts

Several Asians chime in on the Haiti disaster relief and recovery efforts:

Don't Give Money to Haiti Now.  Perla Ni, founder of Great Nonprofits, writes on Stanford Social Innovation Review: If there is any lesson to be learned about how to donate to international disasters, it is this: 

Don't give your money when you first see the disaster splashed across TV. To ensure the rebuilding effort survives over the long term, donors need to stagger their funding and guarantee it over many years, instead of sending the money all at once. Yes, as hard as it may be to watch the dying and pain on our news, realize that money is not the impediment to getting aid to Haiti right now. They need military and security forces to help organize rescue, logistics and transport and security operations.

Philanthropy in Haiti: Don't miss out on the opportunity.  Penny Fujiko Willgerodt, Executive Director of Prospect Hill Foundation writes on Smart Assets: The Philanthropy New York Blog: 

Soon the news about the earthquake’s aftermath will be gone from public attention. These first few weeks are crucial for mobilizing donations even as we recognize that the problems on the ground and the struggle to recover in Haiti will continue for a long time. As we have seen from our experience in the Gulf Coast, Haiti will need lots of help just to get back to where it was prior to the earthquake. While horrific, infuriating, and ultimately very sad, this tragedy does create an opportunity to help the people and country of Haiti recover and rebuild in a way that supports sustainable development, human rights, and democracy. It is important that we do not miss this opportunity and that we advocate for philanthropy to focus on this critical approach.

Delivering aid is an inexact science. Delwar Hossain writes in the Guardian: Recent scenes from Haiti remind me of relief work in Bangladesh, where there was never enough to go around. 

As new channels beam images of aid distribution in Haiti, I am reminded of a post-emergency relief that I witnessed last year in a remote part of Bangladesh where a flood in 2007 had destroyed large areas of paddy and numerous homes. The people affected were some of the most marginal in the country, what development experts call "the extreme poor."

I came on the day tin sheets were being handed out. Even before the distribution had begun, there was trouble. The list that was originally drawn up of people from the most severely affected village had to be re-done. According to Tariq, a staff member with the NGO, this was because a local community-basedorganization that they had commissioned to make an inventory of recipients had put the names of their own relatives and friends  on it, thus denying the most needy.

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