When a disaster strikes people are always keen to help. To make a lasting difference in the affected communities, we ask people to donate money instead of goods. If you have second-hand goods you no longer need, Vanuatu Red Cross suggests selling these goods in a garage sale and donating the money to Red Cross.
Why do we need money and not goods?
Communities recover faster when we source goods locally, as it injects cash into the local economy. Cash is also easier to collect, transfer, distribute and account for than unsolicited goods.
What are unsolicited goods?
Unsolicited goods are donations that have not been requested or organized by the disaster authorities. They are goods that often arrive with no prior warning and do not meet the internationally recognized priorities and standards required by the relief operation.
What kind of problems can unsolicited goods create?
· Collecting, storing and shipping donated goods takes time. Often, by the time the goods arrive, the emergency relief phase is over and priorities have changed.
· Importing items can damage local retailers and affect market prices. An effective way to aid recovery is by restoring livelihoods and local economic activity. Where we can, we source emergency relief goods locally.
· Non-standardized relief items can be difficult to distribute in a fair way and can lead to community conflict.
· Unsolicited goods can clog up ports, creating delays. It can also leave Red Cross with large quantities of unneeded goods, sometimes at great cost (such as customs clearance and wharf fees).
Vanuatu Red Cross has six per-positioned warehouses across the country stocked with brand new emergency relief items. These are ready to distribute immediately after a disaster. This system means everyone in an affected community gets the same, high-quality items.
Vanuatu Red Cross appreciates your interest in supporting our work and hopes you understand the reasons why donating cash is preferable to donating goods.