CIDI Urges Americans to Make Appropriate Donations to Help Victims of Recent Disasters in Asia and South Pacific

Oct 02, 2009, 11:05 ET from Center for International Disaster Information

Cash is the Best Form of Donation to Provide Effective and Immediate Assistance

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) is encouraging Americans who wish to help the recent victims of this week's numerous international disasters to donate cash, as an alternative to in-kind donations such as clothing and canned goods, in order to provide the most optimal assistance. It is widely recognized that cash donations are the most efficient and effective means of response, a policy supported by CIDI's funding partner, the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and those in the established international disaster response community.

"We've all seen the heartbreaking images of past international disasters, where massive amounts of clothing and canned goods collected in piles, left virtually untouched," says Suzanne H. Brooks, Director of CIDI. "CIDI's mission is to reduce the amount of inappropriate material donations sent to victims and to facilitate efforts by professional humanitarian relief agencies. The best way for Americans to help is to donate cash to an established relief agency so that they can provide the quickest onsite assistance."

On Tuesday, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the South Pacific, causing a series of tsunamis that flooded parts of Samoa and Tonga. Entire villages were washed away. In Indonesia -- in the same region devastated by a tsunami in 2004 -- a 7.6 magnitude earthquake is reported to have leveled entire buildings, burying what may be thousands of residents in debris. And across Vietnam, the Philippines and Cambodia, a deadly typhoon has left a large swath of flood and destruction. While reports are still being confirmed, the death tolls are expected to be high, the damage is expected to be extensive, and millions of people will be depending on the global community for support.

International relief efforts work best when the right tools are employed. CIDI provides information and guidance to ensure that America's generosity results in effective relief. Individuals and organizations interested in making contributions to help the victims of the tsunami, earthquakes and typhoon can get more information by visiting CIDI's Web site at Additionally, interested donors can visit to obtain a list of credible responding agencies for international emergencies and to get valuable information on making informed decisions when supporting charities. In addition, donors can visit GlobalGiving allows donors to fund specific programs that address a range of immediate to long-term needs.

About CIDI

CIDI is based in Washington, DC and was created in 1988. The Center is funded by the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. CIDI provides individuals, groups, embassies and corporations with information and guidance in support of appropriate international disaster relief efforts. The organization works with a variety of partners to channel the public's energy and desire to help to achieve maximum impact. By reaching out to the American public and the private sector, CIDI helps to promote activities and donations that will do the most good for disaster victims around the world. For more information about CIDI and helping international victims, please visit

SOURCE Center for International Disaster Information