BEST WAY TO SUPPORT ONGOING RELIEF EFFORTS IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
1996 continued fighting in the eastern Congo has claimed the lives
of as many as 5 million people, mainly by starvation and preventable
diseases like malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, and malnutrition. Recent
fighting in the area has developed into a humanitarian crisis for
the approximate 1 million people currently displaced. With new reports
of heavy fighting and a large-scale exodus of refugees, humanitarian
organizations are stepping in to mitigate the effects of this catastrophe
for the people in the region.
CharityWatch announces its top-rated list of charities
involved in Democratic Republic of Congo relief efforts. CharityWatch,
a leading charity watchdog that issues letter grade (A+ to F) ratings
of nonprofit groups, identifies the following charities, which are
providing aid to the victims that receive an A or B
grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services
and their fundraising efficiency. Contact the organizations below
for information of specific relief operations now underway.
Note: Links will open in a new window
All of these charities perform favorably in relation
to CharityWatch benchmarks:
1) A charity should spend at least 75% of its budget on program
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,
with any charitable contribution, Americans wanting to help Congo
relief efforts should send contributions to only those charities
with an established track record of helping people in this region.
Disreputable, fly-by-night charities always exist to
take advantage of the publics generosity.
SEND A CHECK, NOT GOODS
The best way to help is by sending a check. Cash donations enable
charities to buy the most needed type 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,
boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy hats, completely
useless items in tsunami stricken nations with tropical climates,
were sent to these nations.