Recommend Tsunami Relief agencies...

that will do the most effective job of meeting the immediate needs of the people, and then rebuilding the infrastructure/society later.

I’m leading towards my church’s mission relief agency or World Vision, but what’s your recommendations? Cites welcome.

Red Cross and Red Crescent -

Oxfam International

All have a long and strong foundation of not just providing aid but helping to create long-term solutions to problems.

Check out:

Has a good tsunami-specific page.

Very good at noting bang-for-buck figures, most importantly (to me) percent of total contributions that are spent on actual on-the-ground operations (as opposed to overhead and fundraising). Red Cross comes in at a respectable 91%, but that still leaves a lot of overhead, given that they gross a lot. A couple of others come out in the 99% range.

There are of course other parameters, such as (as GomiBoy suggest) whether the solutions they spend money on are long-term effective. Americares, for instance, seems to spend most of their money very “efficiently” on its face, but has been . . . questioned, if not criticized, for focusing on planeloads of food and supplies, rather than rebuilding infrastructure. Although in this instance, sounds like both immediate and long-term help are needed.

It’s true AmeriCares focuses on immediate disaster aid over rebuilding infrastructure, but they’ve never made any claims to the contrary:

To read between the lines here, AmeriCares specializes gift-in-kind (aka non-cash) donations from corporations, particularly medical suppliers. They have a lot of interlocking matching-gift agreements with drug companies and the like. And it’s obvious that if a charity is receiving truckloads of medical supplies and not so much cash (AmeriCares received $386 million in non-cash donations and only $27 million in cash last fiscal year), they’re going to have to focus on “planeloads of food and supplies” for immediate use.

Of course, there are other organizations devoted to rebuilding infrastructure. Here’s’s page on over 20 charities helping out with tsunami relief, with detailed information on all of them.

I gave some money at my local supermarket, but was dissappointed by later noticing that they were handing it over to the Red Cross. I wouldn’t knowingly give money to them after they wanted to keep the money donated to the victims of the world trade center. It took a lot of forcing them by the media (mostly Bill O’Reilly) to release the money to whom it was intended. Even when released, it took far too long and was much more complicated of a payment system than it needed to be. Every step of the way they seemed to drag their feet whenever possible.

I’ll be reading this thread with interest. I’d like to know a charity that will give all of my money directly and quickly to those who need it most.

Doctors Without Borders is saying they have received all the money they anticipate needing for tsunami relief in the near term. But don’t forget the Internaitonal Committee of the Red Cross, if you don’t want to donate to the American Red Cross:

That’s probably where my cash will go, once I can confirm my company will match it; they’re matching $1 million in employee donations for tsunami relief, but only to U.S.-based organizations (and a select few international ones; I’d certainly hope the ICRC is included).

And then there’s U.N. agencies other than UNICEF, too:

(scroll to the bottom of the page)

In many places, the U.N. is coordinating the work of other agencies and local governments, to ensure resources go where they are most needed.