Elsewhere online
April 25, 2016

Donated Items Can Complicate Disaster Relief, Aid Groups Say

Aid workers who responded to emergencies such as the2012  Sandy Hook school shooting and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami tell CBS News about how well-intentioned but superfluous material donations can get in the way of humanitarian relief.

The crush of contributions of used clothing, bottled water, teddy bears, or other items by Americans in the wake of catastrophes abroad clog or disrupt delivery of urgently needed supplies, creating what humanitarian workers call "the second disaster."

“The thinking is that these people have lost everything, so they must need everything. So people send everything,” said Juanita Rilling, director of the Center for International Disaster Information in Washington. She and other relief experts recommend that donors instead send cash, which can be used to purchase necessary items locally.