Please don’t send shoes to typhoon victims

Please don't send shoes to typhoon victims

YOU'VE seen the devastation on TV and are desperate to help.

So you sort through your shoe collection, rummage around your kids’ toys and get ready to contact your local aid agency.

But as it turns out your well-intentioned gesture is probably more of a hindrance than a help and if you really want to do your bit for Typhoon Haiyan victims there’s one thing that will never go astray – money.

According to Children’s charity ChildFund, cash is the biggest and best gift people can give to help the hundreds of thousands of victims left devasted by the deadly typhoon.

With aid workers bracing for a rising death toll and a sanitation crisis, the charity has asked people to avoid sending general goods.

Rouena Getigan, international program co-ordinator for ChildFund Australia, said sending goods overseas took time and the most pressing need for aid workers now was to secure cash to buy food, water and sanitation items.

Ms Getigan said cash donations were faster and more accessible to aid workers on the ground who were best placed to buy goods.

She added sending shoes, teddy bears and even food was a generous thought, but that logistically it was a nightmare as it took time to sort and distribute to those in need.

“At the moment it’s difficult for aid workers to even get in and while things like clothes are a kind thought, it takes time to sort and distribute them,” she said.

“If people want to help, please send cash aid workers on the ground know what people need most and their partners on the ground can get these supplies faster.

“The other advantage of a cash donation is that aid workers can buy identical items, which helps stop feelings of jealousy.

“We’re already hearing of looting taking place, but you can’t blame them, they’re in an extreme situation.”

Ms Getigan said during the 2004 Tsunami, generous Aussies had donated thousands of goods, but it took too much time to sort goods when the situation was already dire.

There were even cases of people donating breast milk and Santa costumes.

The plea for cash donations comes as the first UN relief co-ordinators are on the ground, assessing where the relief efforts can best be distributed.

Authorities estimate at least 9 million people in 41 provinces have been affected by the typhoon so far.

It’s one of the most powerful recorded typhoons to ever hit land and likely the deadliest natural disaster to beset this poor Southeast Asian nation with at least 10,000 killed.

To donate to Cyclone Haiyan Appeal, go to ChildFund.