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"Disaster relief is rarely cost effective," and flood of cash to charities from public donations is sometimes squandered in the confusion.

"It seems to happen at a disturbingly frequent rate. A massive typhoon, hurricane, earthquake, tsunami or other horrible catastrophe occurs. The media show heart-wrenching images of disaster beyond anything most people have seen or could even begin to imagine. People want to help; it is human nature to want to help. And many aid agencies offer just that opportunity as they fundraise for relief efforts. But if we give to them, does it actually make a difference?" -- Eric Friedman, the Los Angeles Times

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