CharityWatch Articles & Donor Alerts
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Hot Topics & Donor Alerts
|Puerto Rico Relief – Hurricane Maria Aftermath
Hurricane Maria directly hit the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico in September of 2017 as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm. It was the first and strongest Category 4 or higher to hit the island in nearly 80 years. The official government death toll in Puerto Rico is listed at 64, but a recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine estimates that more than 4,600 “excess deaths” occurred in the aftermath of the storm. Even today, the effects of Maria are still being felt. The damage from the hurricane will likely plague the island and its residents for years to come.
Updated on December 11, 2017
The devastating wildfires raging in Southern California have forced evacuations of more than 90,000 people and have shut down major highways. As multiple fires sweep across Ventura and Los Angeles counties, where states of emergency have been declared by the California Governor, hundreds of buildings and homes have burned.
|Hurricane Maria Relief
Updated on September 25, 2017
On the heels of Hurricane Irma's path of destruction through the eastern Caribbean, these same islands faced a new threat: Hurricane Maria. Maria made landfall as a Category 5 storm on the island of Dominica where 27 deaths have been confirmed. The hurricane then continued on to directly hit the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico as a Category 4. The full extent of the devastation in Puerto Rico is still being assessed, but most buildings are damaged or destroyed, and millions are without power or communications.
|Hurricane Irma Relief
Updated on September 11, 2017
Hurricane Irma will go down in history as the most potent Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever recorded. It left at least 26 people dead and thousands homeless across the Caribbean. The U.S. Virgin Islands suffered catastrophic damage. As a Category 4 storm, Irma also made landfall in the Florida Keys. It dumped rain across the entirety of Florida causing massive destruction and leaving millions without power.
|Hurricane Harvey Relief
Updated on September 8, 2017
Hurricane Harvey is the state of Texas's worst storm in more than 50 years. The death toll related to the storm is relatively low at 70 people. However, Harvey and its record-setting rains caused severe damage in many parts of Texas and Louisiana. The recovery and rebuilding efforts in Harvey's aftermath are expected to take years.
|Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts
Following the devastating earthquakes that hit Nepal in late April and early May 2015, relief efforts to provide food and shelter are likely to be needed for the three months following the earthquakes. Up to two million survivors will need basic relief, such as tents, tarpaulin sheets, toilets, dry food, and safe drinking water.
The earthquake has killed thousands of people in Nepal and dozens in neighboring India, Tibetan China, and Bangladesh. Thousands more have been injured and are displaced in the aftermath of the earthquake. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia, so relief efforts and reconstruction will be largely dependent on aid from international governments and nonprofits.
|Ebola Virus Epidemic: Best Way for Donors to Help
As of mid-September 2014, more than 4,784 people have been sickened and at least 2,400 have died. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have been hardest hit, with cases in Nigeria as well. The current epidemic is spreading more widely than previous Ebola outbreaks, with inadequate access to health care in the countries affected making it particularly difficult to bring the epidemic under control.
While the United States and other world governments have made large pledges for treatment and prevention of the virus, the groups that are working to contain the virus are urgently in need of critical monetary assistance.
|Famine Relief Efforts in South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia
Famine was declared in two areas of South Sudan in February 2017. This is the first famine to be declared in the world in over 6 years. Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia are also at risk for famine. A famine is declared by the United Nations when extreme criteria are met. These criteria include: at least 20% of households face extreme food shortages; acute malnutrition rates exceed 33%; and a death rate that is more than two persons per every 100,000 each day. Tens of millions of people are in need of food, but unfortunately are at the mercy of overwhelmed aid systems, continuing wars and widespread conflict.
In Yemen, over 7 million people need emergency food aid. Northeastern Nigeria faces severe acute malnutrition as at least 5 million people face the risk of famine. Somalia is currently in its second year of drought causing crops to fail. In South Sudan, the country's government and the United Nations have warned that over 100,000 people are facing starvation with an additional one million more at risk for famine. Currently, more than 40% of South Sudan's population (4.9 million people) has been described as severly food insecure, according to IPC, an international multi-agency initiative. Funding for aid is urgently needed in all of these countries.