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THE BEST WAY TO SUPPORT ONGOING RELIEF EFFORTS IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Starving in South AfricaSince 1996 continued fighting in the eastern Congo has claimed the lives of as many as 5 million people, mainly by starvation and preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, and malnutrition. Recent fighting in the area has developed into a humanitarian crisis for the approximate 1 million people currently displaced. With new reports of heavy fighting and a large-scale exodus of refugees, humanitarian organizations are stepping in to mitigate the effects of this catastrophe for the people in the region.

CharityWatch announces its top-rated list of charities involved in Democratic Republic of Congo relief efforts. CharityWatch, a leading charity watchdog that issues letter grade (A+ to F) ratings of nonprofit groups, identifies the following charities, which are providing aid to the victims that receive an “A” or “B” grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services and their fundraising efficiency. Contact the organizations below for information of specific relief operations now underway.
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All of these charities perform favorably in relation to CharityWatch benchmarks:
1) A charity should spend at least 75% of its budget on program services.
2) Charities should spend no more than $25 to raise $100.

Contact your favorite charities to find out if they provide the specific types of aid that you would like to fund, e.g., emergency relief, health care, infrastructure development, education, etc.

DONORS BEWARE
As with any charitable contribution, Americans wanting to help Congo relief efforts should send contributions to only those charities with an established track record of helping people in this region. Disreputable, fly-by-night “charities” always exist to take advantage of the public’s generosity.

SEND A CHECK, NOT GOODS
The best way to help is by sending a check. Cash donations enable charities to buy the most needed type of food, medicine, clothing, shelter materials and other supplies. By buying relief products locally or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more rapidly deliver assistance. Before sending any goods, first contact the charity to find out if they are appropriate and if it will be cost effective to distribute them. For example, after the tsunami, boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy hats, completely useless items in tsunami stricken nations with tropical climates, were sent to these nations.

 
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Last Update: April 7, 2014