Washington DC, December 27, 2003 - NIAC is coordinating efforts with Mercy Corps to get material support to Iran. However, aid organizations prefer financial assistance over material help. NIAC has raised more than $23,000 for the victims in just two days.
In the past 24 hours, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has received inquiries from individuals who wish to send material assistance, such as winter clothing, blankets, and shoes to Iran's earthquake victims.
NIAC is currently in discussions with Mercy Corps and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to coordinate such forms of material assistance from donors in the United States. Both organizations are currently on the ground in Iran providing relief services to the affected communities.
Ellsworth Culver, Senior Vice President and Co-Founder of Mercy Corps is in close contact with NIAC Executive Director Dokhi Fassihian.
American aid agencies have emphasized the importance of sending financial assistance over material assistance to Iran. According to officials from Mercy Corps and the American Red Cross, the difference between monetary and material assistance in terms of cost effectiveness and time efficiency is very large, especially at the outset of a disaster.
Financial help is certain to multiply beneficiaries, allowing relief groups to spend the money on buying materials locally, and providing aid more quickly. On the other hand, it is extremely expensive to ship materials from afar, taking valuable time and labor, which reduces the effectiveness of relief efforts.
NIAC urges individual donors to give preference to monetary assistance over material assistance toward the relief effort, as it ensures that more of Iran's disaster victims are helped more rapidly.
Nonetheless, in the coming days, NIAC will provide information on how and where to send material forms of aid for individuals who wish to do so.
... Payvand News - 12/28/03 ... --