Thursday, January 19, 2017

When donating goods to Fiji

Something to think about when there's a crisis in Fiji and people in Australia want to help by donating goods.

In response to a link from a facebook friend about donations to the Pacific when disaster strikes, Red Cross has given some good advice via some articles and explanations. For example:
What are UBDs?
UBDs, also called Gifts in Kind (GIK) and unsolicited material
donations are goods that are spontaneously donated after a
disaster. They are often characterised by:
• They arrive unannounced or with very short notice
• Have incomplete or faulty paperwork
• Lack clearly defined consignee
• Are non-standard items
• Have incorrect packaging.
They are also items that may not have been requested by
responding organisations and usually (or frequently) do not
meet the needs of the affected populations.
While often donated by well-meaning people wishing to
assist in the response, UBDs create considerable issues for
governments and response agencies and put additional
pressure on an already stretched humanitarian supply
chain system. The costs of processing, transporting, sorting
and storing UBDs can place a significant financial burden
on receiving governments and response agencies, costing
much more than the donated goods,
Sorting and labelling is essential and to have a specific person at the other end for good quality items to get through to the needy. Fiji govt. has a list of items that still have customs duty even when second-hand. It's very tough to donate these days. It's best to go through a reliable, experienced group such as Donation in Kind (Rotary) or Red Cross.

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