Word of Mouth
1:20 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Aid Workers Stress Need For Money, Not Clothing, For Disaster Victims

Typhoon Haiyan approaching the Philippines (13:00 UTC 11/7/2013).
Credit Copyright 2013 JMA/EUMETSAT

Nearly a week has passed since Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines.  Aid organizations are reporting more than 10,000 dead, though Filipino President Aquino says that number is far overblown. Whatever the number, many more will likely succumb to disease or dehydration as relief slowly pours in to the hardest hit areas. Security is a major concern among officials in areas now teetering towards anarchy. Yesterday, Reuters reported that nearly 30,000 bags of rice were stolen from a government warehouse and rampant looting has turned deadly.   

Americans spring into action after such disasters, emptying their cupboards of old canned goods, medicines and clothing. Jessica Alexander urges you not to. She’s the  author of Chasing Chaos: My Decade In And Out Of Humanitarian Aid. We read her article “Please Don’t Send Your Old Shoes To The Philippines” on slate.com and reached her this morning at the UN.

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