2 thoughts on “New Form of Disaster Relief – Cash

  1. In Katrina FEMA sent out debit cards as well. The program was roundly criticized and numerous examples of fraud and abuse were reported. I believe that overall it was a good program. The caveat being that the recipients had to register, which resulted in at least a modicum of basic case-work.

  2. I’ve witnessed the chaos caused by giving out money without case-work. The first time was in San Diego when people from outside the disaster area flooded the venue where the cash was being dispersed. In my estimate 30% of the recipients were not disaster survivors. In Sandy, it happened again, and once again it was not pretty.

    In my experience, this type of program only works whenever there is a large scale, area-wide disaster where most of the recipients are from the affected area, and access is restricted. In incidents were people from outside the disaster site can reach the distribution venue, it fails to accomplish its objectives. Significant amounts of money, given by donors for disaster relief, is not going to disaster survivors.

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