We need to remind the younger officials and leaders in the recipient countries that this has happened before and that pushing new or potential arrivals away from their shores condemns them almost certainly to death or imposes severe risks to their health and well-being.
I am hoping that money won't trump morality in the current conflict and that US relief agencies will weigh in on the Obama administration that picking up the pieces from someone else's civil war is not the job of US humanitarian relief agencies.
After more than 30 years of humanitarian aid operations in some of the world's most dangerous and/or autocratically-run places, I felt that it was at least worth a try to see what access an international NGO could have to people in need.
Charity watchdog sites rate charities on their financial growth and on the transparency of their publicly-shared information... but have yet to be able to meaningfully measure the quality or usefulness of their programs.
To think that there was no effect on many nonprofits from so much money being used in campaigns, is fooling yourself. Just 10 percent of that figure is a huge amount of money if spent for charitable purposes.
Haiti has for decades been the poorest country in our hemisphere and it was set far back by the disasters which have befallen it since 2008. It behooves us, therefore, to do better than we have done and to beseech those relief agencies which still have cash.
You're not a First Responder like a fire department or paramedic unit; you're not FEMA; and, do not command the vast logistical resources of an entire government... What would SMART Aid consist of in this situation?
It's more than a bit disconcerting to look at the low level of the African famine relief response -- especially when you've been around long enough to remember the 1984 Ethiopian famine and its massive tug on the hearts of the world.
I urge the donating public to take it slowly and deliberately. Better to carefully sort through relief agencies' descriptions of what they plan to do over the next month to two years in Japan to help it recover.
On the Thailand-Burma border, Dr. Cynthia Maung's Mae Tao Clinic has for 21 years managed to care for over 250,000 semi-permanent refugees while also providing quiet cross-border assistance to those who need it.