“please consider dropping off *any* humanitarian aid at the Ecuadorian Embassy”

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Andrés Almeida ‏tweets us:

“DC friends, please consider dropping off *any* humanitarian aid at the Ecuadorian Embassy in Col. Heights. [2535 15th Street, NW]”

11 Comment

  • The sensible action for disaster relief is to simply give money. Aid organizations can then buy and distribute syringes, tents, baby milk etc. more effectively & at better cost. (Also, often profiting local businesses.)

    The time and effort required to receive, sort, inventory and ship all these various “drop off” supplies is just not an effective use of resources. Just donate cash.

    • Considering UNDP and the Ecuadorian government have generated this list, if you happen to have these things sitting around it seems reasonable to assume they are needed. Not sure why you would discourage people from giving to those in need.

      • I’m not discouraging people from giving, I’m helping them give more effectively. Many people (and countries) are not well prepared to deal with natural disasters. A “wish list” like this might come from an inexperienced staffer, or it might be a clever way to be just shock people into realizing there is a great need. (Because sure, we all have Formalin lying around for dead bodies.)

        Diapers and sanitary napkins are heavy to ship, and readily available to buy locally. Likewise towels, sheets, blankets, etc.

        Give money.

      • Fact-check – the list posted here is not from the embassy nor from UNDP.

        The Ecuadorian embassy website first lists ways to donate cash, including donating via UNDP Ecuador and Red Cross Ecuador.

        The embassy also lists items they would accept as a donation, and notes they will not accept medicine nor clothing. Items, by the way, that are included in the above list of “things to donate” – a list generated without checking with the embassy about what they need/will accept.

    • Yeah, I worked at an embassy after a big natural disaster hit the country – we had a lot of well-meaning people donate various items, but we didn’t really have the time or infrastructure or knowledge to deal with getting it shipped to the country, particularly the right places in that country. They mostly sat in the basement. Checks and monetary donations were much easier.

  • I volunteered to sort through donated items after the Haiti earthquake, partly to see what all was donated (often, people donate items that are not most in need or most appropriate) and it was a massive volume of stuff, a mix of useful and useless. It’s good to see a list of requested items. However, as previously noted, it is almost always better to give cash. Giving cash can spur the local economy, helping families cope and recover. Shipping goods from the US takes time and can pull needed resources away from the most pressing concerns. A number of organizations are requesting financial donations ( just googled and at least 2 that I respect are requesting support).

  • Please do not drop off *any* humanitarian aid! This message implies the embassy will accept *anything* which is not the case

    From the Ecuadorian Embassy website: http://www.ecuador.org/nuevosite/index_e.php you can donate cash [preferred] or items from their list

    • Thanks for the additional information.
      .
      It’s a pity that so many people seem determined to donate material items (both in this and other cases), despite evidence that what’s most needed is money.

      • I think it must be that people feel more of a personal “connection” if a material item they’ve touched goes to a disaster zone than if they donate money.

  • According to the Ecuadorian Embassy website, items accepted for donation include:

    •WATER – LIFE STRAW PURIFIERS-
    •CANNED FOOD
    •DRY FOODS
    •LARGE TENTS
    •SLEEPING BAGS
    •HYGIENE KITS
    •PORTABLE LAMPS – LED OR RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES
    •BATTERIES
    •KITCHEN UTENSILS

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