South Asia Flood Relief
CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient and accountable charities involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance to victims of South Asia floods.
An estimated 41 million people throughout Bangladesh, India, and Nepal have been affected by unusually severe monsoon rains that have swept through the region this summer. The flooding – the worst South Asia has experienced in over a decade – has submerged vast areas of land and destroyed homes, schools, health centers, crops and livestock. Millions are displaced, and the death toll has reached over 1,400, with many people still missing.
The flood survivors in South Asia are in immediate need of food, water, shelter, and medical attention. Filthy conditions and lack of fresh water have caused widespread outbreaks of diarrhea and other waterborne illnesses, and as the flood waters recede, malaria has been on the rise. It is estimated that 17 million children in India alone are in need of protection, health care, and basic nutrition.
Many families have completely lost their livelihood, whether due to loss of crops or livestock, damage to local businesses, or displacement. Aid agencies are warning of a looming food and financial crisis resulting from the millions of hectares of crops that have been destroyed. The region will be in great need of long-term recovery efforts to rebuild homes and communities, and rehabilitate the land in order for agriculture to once again prosper.
The Related Charities listed below perform favorably in relation to CharityWatch benchmarks:
1) A charity should spend at least 75% of its budget on program services.
2) A charity 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 shelters, food and water, health care, psychological trauma counseling, etc.
As with any charitable contribution, Americans wanting to help with disaster relief efforts should only give to legitimate charities with an established track record of helping people in need.
People need to be on guard concerning the surge of solicitations related to any highly publicized crisis. There will be fraudulent charity solicitations, some involving websites and email links attempting to steal your credit card information for identity theft or insert malware on your computer.
Social media may include fake victims. Do not donate to unknown individuals or organizations that purport to need aid that post on Facebook, GoFundMe, Generosity by Indiegogo, YouCaring, etc. These could be fraudsters, who may also be from another country and out of the reach of our U.S. regulatory system. Even if they are legitimate, they may receive an unfairly large amount of aid. (For more related to crowdfunding sites, see CharityWatch's article: Crowdfunding Popularity Continues to Soar Despite Risks to Donors.)
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 a tsunami in the Pacific, boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy hats, completely useless items in tsunami-stricken nations with tropical climates, were sent to these nations.
CharityWatch identifies the following Top-Rated charities, which are providing relief to South Asia flood victims and receive an “A” or “B+” grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services and their fundraising efficiency. Top-Rated charities also must meet CharityWatch's Governance and Transparency benchmarks. Contact the organizations below for information on specific relief operations now underway.
|Lutheran World Relief||A|
|Mennonite Central Committee U.S.||A-|
|Save the Children||A-|
|United States Fund for UNICEF||A|