Learning that sending bottled water to a disaster site overseas can cost thousands of times more than producing drinkable water near the site was a transformative moment for us at USAID CIDI. Naturally, we wondered about the cost differential for other items. Our curiosity led to visits with logisticians and relief professionals who explained why transporting material goods is so expensive — not even including the costs of Bigfoot-sized carbon footprints and disposal of goods that are not used. A result of those discussions is the donations calculator to the left, a handy tool from the thoughtful people at the University of Rhode Island College of Business Administration and College of Engineering.
So, how much do you think it costs to send canned food to Kinshasa? What could a relief organization do with the same amount of funding? Check it out!
COST: Purchasing teddy bear* in Washington, D.C USA for $19.99 and shipping it to Kabul Afghanistan will cost an estimated $273.43**.
CONSIDER: In Kabul Afghanistan $273.43 could be used by a relief organization to purchase 54,686 liters of clean water locally. This would provide 27,343 people with 2 liters of clean drinking water for a day.
CONSIDER: In Kabul Afghanistan $273.43 could be used by a relief organization to purchase 40 blankets or other needed supplies in bulk.
Save money. Save lives. Save the planet. Give green.
*item costs derived from WalMart.com
**Shipping costs derived from FedEx.com