BEST WAY TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF AFGHANISTAN
CharityWatch posts its list of the top-rated charities
currently offering aid services to the Afghan people. Nearly 30
years of war and chaos have left Afghanistan devastated, with little
or no electricity, running water, or sewage for many of its citizens.
Deteriorating security, drought and corruption have exacerbated
an already tenuous humanitarian situation - while insurgent attacks
and international military operations are at a record high, along
with civilian casualties, the New York Times reports that a harsh
winter and drought resulted in the smallest harvest in years, leaving
many in this subsistence agricultural society without enough food
for the upcoming winter. In addition, the Agency Coordinating Body
for Afghan Relief reported in March 2008 that inefficient international
aid has meant 40 percent of the $15 billion in reconstruction assistance
given to Afghanistan since 2001 has gone back to donor countries
via corporate profits and consultant salaries.
CharityWatch, a leading charity watchdog that issues
letter grade (A+ to F) ratings of nonprofit groups, identifies the
following relief charities, which are providing aid to Afghanistan.
These charities have received an A or B
grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services
and their fundraising efficiency.
Note: Links will open in a new
Relief Services (A)
World Service (A-)
Medical Corps (A)
Rescue Committee (A+)
Teams International (A-)
the Children (A+)
(United Methodist Committee on Relief) (A+)
charities perform favorably in relation to CharityWatch benchmarks:
1) A charity should spend at least 75% of its budget
on program services.
2) Charities should spend no more than $25 to raise $100.
Contact your favorite charities to find out if they
provide the specific types of aid that you would like to fund, e.g.,
emergency relief, health care, infrastructure development, education,
Americans wanting to help people in Afghanistan should send contributions
to only those charities with an established track record of helping
people in this region.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Donation:
Give to newly created charities only if you have reliable third-party
verification of their credibility and/or have knowledge of and trust
the officers and directors of the new group.
· Do not assume that a claimed celebrity endorsement
is real or that the celebrity has adequately scrutinized the charity.
· Give with check or credit card instead of
cash. There is little assurance that coin or currency donations
will actually go to the intended beneficiary.
· Be cautious about giving to individual disaster
victims that show up on covers of magazines or on television. Unpublicized
victims may be more in need than publicized victims who are often
flooded with gifts.
· Be cautious about giving in response to a
telemarketing call. If you decide to donate, make sure you have
reviewed all the information from the charity and ask what percentage
of your contribution will fund the pertinent programs. For
more tips on giving click here.
SEND A CHECK, NOT GOODS
The best way to help is by sending a check. Cash donations enable
charities to buy the most needed types of food, medicine, clothing,
shelter materials and other supplies. By buying relief products
locally or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more
rapidly deliver assistance. Before sending any goods, first contact
the charity to find out if they are appropriate and if it will be
cost effective to distribute them. For example, after the tsunami
in southeast Asia, boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy
hats, completely useless items in tsunami stricken nations with
tropical climates, were sent to these nations.