Help in Iraq
November 18, 2003 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Much of the news from Iraq looks grim and it's easy to feel powerless about the whole situation. Mercycorps lets you do something about it, with 92% of all money collected going directly to humanitarian programs to feed, clothe, and provide healthcare to Iraq citizens in need. Looks like a good cause I'm happy to get behind.
posted by mathowie (17 comments total)
Aid & comfort to the enemy, eh? You are SO on the list now....
posted by rushmc at 12:05 PM on November 18, 2003

wow. 92% is a pretty good ratio.

... and can't we teach our government to turn every $1 into $12.72?
posted by whatnot at 12:15 PM on November 18, 2003

Shouldn't the Coalition of the Willing™ be taking care of little things like food, clothes, and healthcare? Or did they not budget for that in the $87 billion?
posted by influx at 12:32 PM on November 18, 2003

I'm concerned that every dollar of charity that is given to Iraq is a dollar that the Bush administration doesn't have to justify spending to its citizens for what was, is, and always will remain an invasion and occupation which are both in violation of international law. Incidentally, that is an entirely logical, reasonable position which many countries have expressed -- a willingness to give Iraq money once the US are no longer imposing their will on Iraq.

Personally, given the casualties amongst aid workers, I wouldn't feel that comfortable about paying money to put them in danger at this juncture.
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:05 PM on November 18, 2003

Shouldn't the Coalition of the Willing™ be taking care of little things like food, clothes, and healthcare?

They have other priorities.
posted by homunculus at 1:08 PM on November 18, 2003

They got my money. Thanks for the link.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:12 PM on November 18, 2003

Mercy Corps excellent status is documented at Charity Navigator here.
posted by ahimsakid at 1:23 PM on November 18, 2003

todays interview with charles sennott on fresh air is excellent - intelligent and insightful.
posted by specialk420 at 2:04 PM on November 18, 2003

sennott's interview concerning iraq and whats going on there.
posted by specialk420 at 2:05 PM on November 18, 2003

insomnia_lj hit the nail on the head, twice. Humanitarian aid needs to be combined with outspoken advocacy and criticism of failures on the part of states to fulfill their responsibilities to protect civilians. Otherwise, the humanitarian community becomes little more than a bunch of patsies, in that they allow states to outsource (and financially offload) their messes. Humanitarianism isn't the happy solution it's portrayed as: rather, it's indicative of the failure of states to do what they are legally mandated to do.
posted by stonerose at 5:07 PM on November 18, 2003

Heck, I just want to know how to get a piece of that 87 billion.
posted by HTuttle at 5:47 PM on November 18, 2003

So, with groups such as this, the US military occupation of Iraq seems almost unecessary, doesn't it. Mightn't we be better off, in the long run, simply arming the more enlightened Iraqi factions ( to slug it out with the Baathists ) and meanwhile funneling the lion's share of our "Rebuild Iraq" dollars to such well managed charities?

Perhaps not, but what a terrible contrast - between the basic decency and financial efficiency of this charity and the multibillion dollar BushCheneyCrony™ debacle we're now witnessing.
posted by troutfishing at 7:28 PM on November 18, 2003

Color me skeptic. I've just heard on tv from a member of italian Red Cross that they're the only ones providing free medical aid in northern iraq because, apparently, hospitals are rejecting poor people and especially people with burns injuries. Unfortunately the fragment I catched was too short to get more info, but she looked sincere to me, not your usual probenefit-marketing-representative.

I find it hard to believe nobody is going to embezzle (or at least try to) help funds, given how hard is to have an accurate accounting of what is really being done.
posted by elpapacito at 7:56 PM on November 18, 2003

elpapacito - there are now so many media Spinfilters™ attempting to somehow control reality by controlling perception - I wouldn't at all be surprised.

What's up in Iraq? - I sure as hell don't trust Fox or NPR to inform me on this. The silly part of this is that reality is then far more likely to bite us in the ass.
posted by troutfishing at 8:29 PM on November 18, 2003

ahimsakid: thanks for the link. Charity Navigator is a very interesting resource that I had not been aware of. I'm going to blog it as well.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 9:32 PM on November 18, 2003

HealingIraq, The Messopotamian, Iraq at a Glance, and Iraq The Model are all relatively new blogs written by Iraqis.

Interesting stuff.
posted by wrffr at 11:47 PM on November 18, 2003

I have sent MercyCorp $25 a month for the past 4 years. Charges automatically to my credit card hardly notice it anymore just part of the monthly fixed costs of living. Recommend everyone find a charity and give whatever you can afford it makes a diffrence and adds up to real help over time.
posted by stbalbach at 10:12 AM on November 19, 2003

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