How Donating to Disaster Relief Can Do More Harm Than Good

What if you found out your disaster relief donation did more harm than good? Juanita Rilling explains the humanitarian logistics of unwanted donations, and how you can give in a more informed way.

When we see a disaster strike, it’s a knee-jerk reaction to want to help. It’s possible, however, that despite your best intentions your charitable act may be more of a hindrance than a help. That flies in the face of everything we know about disaster relief – these people need as much as they can, as quickly as they can get it, right? But often our generosity isn’t informed by humanitarian logistics; good intentions can do harm if they lack understanding, as Albert Camus once wrote.

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