December 28, 2004

Tsunami Aftermath: Relief Pointers

The known death toll is now pushing 60,000 and is certain to go considerably higher. Many of the dead will simply never be found. To prevent epidemics from driving the death toll even higher in the days and weeks to come, medical relief is required in addition to food aid and materials.

Contributions for direct relief and assistance may be made to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Bengal Bay-specific IFRC donations link is here.

Those trying to contact friends and family members in the affected areas can try the IFRC FamilyLinks website here.

Direct Relief International is also a very worthy org, one of only five US charities rated at 99% efficient in all categories. They specialize in direct medical aid to disaster areas and 3rd world nations. They are equipped to handle corporate donations of medicines and medical materials to the affected areas. FEDEX has agreed to move DRI medical shipments to the Bengal Bay area without charge. The DRI cash donations link is here. Cash donations combined with coporate material donations and assistance allow DRI to leverage their applied assistance at levels of 25-1 and greater ($2500 of delivered aid for every $100 cash donated).

UPDATE: If the Red Cross and Crescent or DRI aren't to your taste, Command Post Blog has a much longer list of additional ways to help.

MORE UPDATE: A very good set of relief links can be found at the US Agency for International Development page here.

STILL MORE UPDATE: has a donation link collecting donations for the Red Cross Indian Ocean relief effort as the top of their front page, complete to a donation meter. You can use the link to make a donation of any amount through their secure payment server. Surely you can spare at least $5 or $10, eh? (Yes, in some things I am shameless. Get off your butt, if you haven't done so already.)

When I went to bed in the wee hours, it was at about $800K. As of now it's at $1.42 mil and rising. Go there, wait a minute or two, and then refresh to see how "stingy" we Americans are. And remember--this is just the amount of aid donations through this one single Web page.