A reader asked about donating to alleviate the suffering in Haiti. In particular, making sure that the donations don’t go toward religious or Leftist ends. My own personal assumption is in line with the recommendations of the The GiveWell Blog:
A few notes:
- Unfortunately, “disaster relief” is not an area we’ve researched. When we’ve (very briefly) looked into the cause of “disaster relief” in the past, we haven’t found substantive, well-supported, specific recommendations for where to give. More at two posts from May 2008, following the cyclone in Burma:
- According to the Disease Control Priorities Project, emergency aid is one of the worst uses of donations, despite being one of the most emotionally compelling. For more, see our post on the cost-effectiveness of disaster-focused aid.
- Our intuition then, as it is now, is that the most effective way to help those in need is to give to effective organizations. A few of our recommended organizations have a presence in Haiti:
What do readers think about this? It seems that the Haitian Earthquake is a major disaster in part because of long-term structural issues. On the other hand core human nature compels us to act in the interests of alleviating proximate suffering.