Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Turkey, Syria, and Disaster Relief

Shefali-lincoln-yNFVWsQicdg-unsplash (1)By now, you've undoubtedly read about the earthquakes in Turkey that killed at least 5,100 people in Turkey and Syria and left an estimated 150,000 people without homes in Turkey alone. 

Governments, including several countries in the EU, the United States, Russia, and Israel, are stepping up with disaster relief. But for an earthquake that has affected an estimated 23 million people, there cannot be too much help.

And charitable organizations are stepping up, allowing individuals and corporate entities to step up. The Turkish and Syrian Red Crescents are looking for donations and volunteers. The International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation says it needs tents, heaters, blankets, MREs, thermal clothes, and first aid kits. Plenty of other charitable organizations are also raising funds to provide relief for the victims of the earthquakes.

And this fundraising strikes me as absolutely critical. With a massive disaster like this, we need the government, the private, and the public sector to step up. A couple things to think about when deciding how and where to help:

  1. Most international disasters raise US money, but only a handful are salient enough that they raise a ton of money. I suspect this one will be at least as salient as the Indian Ocean tsunami of almost two decades ago, but, for US tax purposes, it comes at the wrong time of year. Giving increases at the end of the year, when donors will be able to deduct their donations much sooner. Current donors (unless the IRS extends the date for charitable donations) won't reduce taxes until 2024. Still, I hope that won't reduce giving.
  2. Covid giving has, in recent years, outstripped any and all other disaster relief. Like, by a lot. Will this break through? Or are donors fatigued?
  3. Along those same lines, about 90% of giving for disaster assistance goes toward response and relief. But, while the immediate response is critical, so is long-term aid to help affected communities rebuild. This is one of those places where unrestricted giving, and continued giving, will be critical. I don't know how the relief efforts will go--it's possible that Turkey and Syria will use all of the money they can get for immediate relief. But if would be nice to give charities some flexibility so that they can provide long-term aid after the immediate short-term relief.

Samuel D. Brunson

Photo by Shefali Lincoln on Unsplash


Current Affairs, In the News, International | Permalink


I would like to donate clothes & household goods. Where/how?

Posted by: Betty Carlton | Feb 9, 2023 2:40:45 AM

Click here, Ms. Betty: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/personal-finance/earthquake-relief-heres-how-to-donate-to-turkey-and-syria/

Posted by: Darryll Jones | Feb 9, 2023 5:12:53 AM

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