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Q: Should I donate to a charity to try to help ordinary Iraqis and if so which one? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Should I donate to a charity to try to help ordinary Iraqis and if so which one?
Category: Relationships and Society > Politics
Asked by: nevilley-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 07 Sep 2005 05:05 PDT
Expires: 07 Oct 2005 05:05 PDT
Question ID: 565157
I would like to know if it is sensible, ethical and feasible to donate
to a charity which is trying to help ordinary/poor Iraqis, and if so, which
one is thought to be trustworthy and effective. I don't want to help
the governments who invaded, terrorists, or huge international
companies - just ordinary people in trouble. An excellent answer
would discuss the question of whether it makes sense to donate in what
is effectively still a war zone, whether it is simply too early,
whether I would in some sense just be wasting my money. It would also
address the issue of whether my money could end up simply helping out
the governments who invaded, in other words, if I buy it then they
don't have to! (I know this is always a bit of an issue with charity
vs. goverment but it seems to me like a particularly hot one here!) I
would also like to know, at the opposite end of the spectrum, how to
avoid making a donation which could end up the hands of extremists and
fundamentalists and be used directly or indirectly to fund terrorist
activities and their support systems. I have to tried to research
these questions a bit under my own steam, but have had little succes.
If this is too much for the price please say so and I will think
again. Thanks.

Clarification of Question by nevilley-ga on 07 Sep 2005 05:06 PDT
I should add that if it is a UK charity it can get tax relief of
around 28% on donations from UK tax payers. I don't know if this
should sway a decision, over the other aspects I have mentioned?
Subject: Re: Should I donate to a charity to try to help ordinary Iraqis and if so which one?
Answered By: politicalguru-ga on 12 Sep 2005 01:00 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear Neville, 

Some of your question asks for opinion, another part asks for
research. I'll start with opinion, and say that especially at this
time, when ordinary Iraqis suffer under the horrors of war, it is a
good idea to support charities meant to help them.

I live in a neighbourhood, where there are many Muslim immigrants, and
I see the charity boxes. Be careful - as you said yourself, some of
these innocent looking charity boxes (or better said: the charity
organisations that operate them) actually support, under the disguise
of "Muslim charity", terrorist organisations. On the other hand, an
anarchist might claim that any help served to Iraq right now would
support the occupation mechanism, because people would be cared for;
others might claim that the large charities of the type are wasting
money on offices in Europe, and that the actual people in need receive
very little thereof.

This three lines of critique notwithstanding, I think it is a sensible
idea to support organisations that have been proven in the past to
care for the needy. Here are some ideas:

Oxfam Iraq

MSF ("Doctors without Borders")

Iraqi Red Crescent Society

Iraqi Prospect Organisation

Mines Advisory Group - Iraq

Medical Aid for Iraqi Childern

I hope this answers your question. Please contact me if you need any
clarification on this answer before you rate it.
nevilley-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Excellent - just what I needed. Thank you very much for your help. 



Subject: Re: Should I donate to a charity to try to help ordinary Iraqis and if so which
From: dkseshadri-ga on 11 Sep 2005 15:53 PDT
I would like to say that it is a good idea to donate money to
charities, if you are inclined to. I would never believe that donating
money to a noble and true charity would ever make the money end up in
government, terrorist or business houses hands. Let me put it this
way, I do not for a moment think that the "Allies" out there are for
any sense of charity. They are there for a selfish reason and the
report from the ground, following the newspaper reports over two years
indicate that there is a huge scandal out there at all levels.
   It was the famed American stupidity and attitude for boasting that
let the pictures of Abu Garib out. Had the prison staff been properly
trained about keeping things confidential, we, perhaps would never
have known about it. The reason I am stating this is that there is no
kind hearted gevernment helping any civilians in a proactive way. If
the charity cannot or will not buy something for a helpless kid or an
aged person, no one ever will. No government or any business house
will do it.
   So I would donate to a bonafide charity anyway.

I am attaching two links. One is 'Save the children' and the other is
the Helpage. I know helpage to have done some really wonderful work. I
live in London now, but, when I was a kid and in Bangalore, India,
these people would come over to the schools and talk to the headmaster
and in minutes the whole school would be a teeming volunteer army
collecting donations from their residential locality for Helpage. I
have collected donations for them twice during my school years. So
happy to recommend them.

Hope this helps.

Subject: Re: Should I donate to a charity to try to help ordinary Iraqis and if so which
From: nevilley-ga on 12 Sep 2005 00:13 PDT
I am grateful for the suggestions of charities to look at. I had hoped
to avoid getting into attacks such as "famed American stupidity and
attitude for boasting" which I don't really feel get us anywhere. My
question was, I hoped, worded so as to stick to the particular
quesation I was asking, which was how to help ordinary Iraqis. I was
not hoping to start a political debate, and if I get much more like
that, I'm withdrawing the question. Thank you for your interest.
Subject: Re: Should I donate to a charity to try to help ordinary Iraqis and if so which
From: nevilley-ga on 12 Sep 2005 00:19 PDT
I've now had a look at those two links - they're excellent, thanks
very much. Nevilley.
Subject: Re: Should I donate to a charity to try to help ordinary Iraqis and if so which one?
From: jamesmassola-ga on 02 Oct 2005 08:11 PDT
I would suggest that it is a good idea to donate to a charity that helps 
"ordinary" people in Iraq.
 In my Masters class, there has been much discussion about the
so-called "bad" charities that wash money, re-route it in to their own
coffers, have an inefficient management structure, and even "fund
I think the easiest way to cut through the layers is to go for a
bigger, more reputable charity. Amnesty is always a good place to
start, or Oxfam, or the Red Cross/Red Crescent.

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