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Advice on donations in kind

After natural disasters, many dedicated and highly motivated people often want to support those affected by the crisis with donations in kind. Malteser International is grateful for these offers of help. However, in most cases we are unfortunately unable accept this offer for the following reasons:

  • In general, the second hand articles that are put at our disposal as donations in kind have to be collected, stored and transported to the people in need. Often, the costs arising from this process are higher than the costs for the purchase of new goods.
  • The need to transport the goods also creates difficult logistical problems – including the cost and time required for transportation, as well as customs formalities – that could be avoided by simply purchasing the necessary goods in or near the crisis region.
  • Purchasing goods locally also ensures that the aid material is adapted to the culture and way of life in the crisis region. Food donations in particular, are also often not suited to the preparation facilities available on the ground following disasters.
  • The variety in the quantity, quality, and nature of the donated material also makes a fair distribution once they arrive at the affected area extremely difficult.
  • Purchasing the relief goods in the crisis region or country of operation also has the advantage of strengthening local and regional markets - allowing people affected by the disaster to earn their own modest income again.

The best way to offer help is through financial donations and fundraising campaigns: allowing aid workers to provide exactly what the population need based on a professional needs assessment, and freeing up vital resources like transportation, storage and staff. Thank you very much for your understanding!