How to give to Burma

100,000 people may have died in Burma. The survivors need our help.

After the attention engendered by my last post, I did some googling for options on how best to give to victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma. Here are the three organizations I recommend:

1) The International Burmese Monks Organization. The were founded in October 2007 by Burmese monks in exile. It’s a new group, but deeply rooted in Burma. They may not be able to do fascinating and innovative aid programs, but they will be able to move money and food to people who need it. You can donate at Avaaz.

2) Save the Children. They have been in country for more than a decade, and they are a deeply experienced relief and development agency. They are very professional, and they are good at linking their relief work to long-term development needs. Donate here.

3) World Vision. Another very professional organization, who have been in Burma since 1958. They are deeply Christian. This does not affect who they provide services to, but it does affect their hiring. If you are uncomfortable with that, give to Save the Children instead. Donate to World Vision here.

When you donate, please consider giving to the organization’s general fund instead of limiting your donation to Burma. Relief agencies are already responding to the cyclone, and they are doing that using their own general funds; nobody has enough Burma-specific donations yet. Without unrestricted donations, they would not be able to buy supplies and hire their response staff.

If you give to the unrestricted fund, you’ll help Burma now and help prepare for other emergencies in the future.