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August 09, 2005

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Kevin Miller

I'm not sure that one should recommend DWB - they're involved in promoting contraception and even abortion. See, e.g., on their own web site, here and here.

Greg Popcak

Just a suggestion...

When we posted this article at HMS yesterday, we originally encouraged donations to Doctors without Borders, but it has since come to our attention that DWB supports abortion and promotes contraception. As a result we changed our post. Perhaps a better beneficiary of our charity than DWB would be Catholic Relief Services.

Greg Popcak

I see Kevin was simultaneously posting. Sorry for the redundancy.

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

Would it be possible to just send them $20 and say “This is for a supply of Plumpy’nut”?

In Jesu et Maria,

Gerard E.

Rosie- not always workable. Like the nickels and quarters that U.S. kids have contributed to UNICEF in the 1990s. Might have been funneled into the U.N. Oil For Food Program- aka the resulting scandal being my favorite ongoing story. Or my 2nd on the list- the $875,000 loan by the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club of New York- allegedly to keep Air America Radio in operation. Always a personal commitment of mine-to carefully study charities funded by our annual employees' appeal. And select a charity of which I am 100% sure will not use my deductions for contraception or abortion. Winds up being a Catholic charity, anyway- happy to keep it in the family.

dcs

When we posted this article at HMS yesterday, we originally encouraged donations to Doctors without Borders, but it has since come to our attention that DWB supports abortion and promotes contraception.

They don't just support abortion -- they also perform them.

TiaKay

Is anyone at Catholic Relief Services actually providing this product already? Or is it something a grassroots campaign could implement through them? It sounds marvelous...

Kevin Miller

Rosemarie,

According to the DWB donation page on their web site: "The gift that you are about to make will help support our emergency medical relief work around the world rather than a specific crisis ... The generous general support we receive from donors like you allows us to help provide medical care to those most in need, wherever they are, and whether or not their plight is making headlines. Thank you!"

Thus, it would appear that they don't "do" targeted donations (and even if they said they'd allow you to target your money, you'd have to ask whether that'd simply allow them to shift other money to abortion and the like, depending on how they do their budgeting).

Katherine

I think Doctors Without Borders can be trusted not to divert funds donated for emergency food relief to abortion/birth control if they promise to do so. They are quite scrupulous about their use of funds; I remember during the tsunami when they stated that they had received enough $ to send all the staff and logistical help they were capable of providing, and future donations would be used to finance general programs so that if you wanted to specifically contribute to tsunami relief you should look elsewhere. The Oil for Food Program, they ain't.

But I don't know if they allow you to specify where funds go and/or if people simply don't want to donate at all because they feel it will indirectly free up money for abortion/contraception.

This link describes the groups providing emergency aid in Niger. Catholic Relief Services is there; I don't know if they use this particular product. An organization named Action Against Hunger, which from its website and name appear to exclusively focus on food aid, is specifically mentioned as providing "PlumpyNut".

Nance

DWB does targeted donation, but reserves the right to allocate resources as it sees fit and as circummstances dictate. I sent them $100 for tsunami relief, and as you might imagine, so did many other people. Before I pressed the final button on the form, I got a disclaimer explaining that the tsunami relief effort was fully funded, and that if I still wished to donate, they would send my money to other areas in dire need -- Darfur and other parts of Africa, etc.

I give them credit for saying so up front, a practice many charities do not follow. (Hello, American Red Cross!) DWB does excellent work and has saved untold numbers of lives. Send your money where you want, but you could do far, far worse.

Michael Tinkler

I'm amused to see that the man who invented it was inspired by Nutella! Yumm!

Nance

I'm amused to see that the man who invented it was inspired by Nutella! And, no doubt, the weight gain of thousands of non-starviing peanut-butter addicts everywhere. Maybe I should start thinking of it as Plumpy'Nut and reach for the fruit bowl instead.

hieronymus

They ought to think up a better name for the stuff. Plumpy'Nut?

George

PlumpyNut is a great product for people who are actually starving to death, so it is especially appropriate for children and babies in hospitals and clinics who are in advanced stages of malnutrition. If you want your contribution to save people who are actually dying from hunger, medical charities like MSF/DWB are good. MSF does very good work, but I wouldn't be surprised if they offer contraceptives or other problematic stuff, especially in war zones where women are often raped.

There are also products like Atmit that are useful in different stages of malnutrition.
Of course, it would better to feed people when they are simply hungry, before they become sick from malnutrition and start the process of dying. Faith-based charities like CRS are doing that well, as are public donors such as USAID. Unfortunately, the Sahel crisis is spreading, so charities can actually put your money to work, today.

The ideal is that these countries feed themselves. CRS and other groups also work at that level. There are often overlapping political, economic and enviromental causes for famine.

Nerina

Just a plug for CRS (we've donated to them for years and each year the percentage of donations that ACTUALLY reach the intended program goes up. They currently return 94% of each dollar raised to programs). Catholic Medical Mission Board is another good charity without the concerns of abortion and contraception.

Morbo

I've given before and would normally (previously) think this was a great idea, but I was struck by some of the comments from real Africans after Live 8 that this kind of assistance might actually be harmful in the long run because it tends to put local farmers and merchants out of work, depressing the economy, and keeping everyone poor. That sounded like a logical argument to me, but something clearly needs to be done to prevent the starvation and suffering. I'm just not sure what is the best thing to do.

Kevin

This is a worthy cause and I will donate only to CRS. I can't see giving money to DWB if they support abortions. There are other charities dedicated 100% to saving lives, the lives of the born and unborn.

In addition, the best thing we can do to support third world farmers is to write a letter to our representative in congress advocating the complete elimination of agricultural subsidies.

Rich Leonardi

I think Doctors Without Borders can be trusted not to divert funds donated for emergency food relief to abortion/birth control if they promise to do so.

Money is fungible. As someone who once ran a 501(c)(3), I can assure you that helping a group defray costs associated with one area, e.g., Plumpy'Nut, allows it to spend funds in another, e.g., abortion and contraception.

Thanks for the information, Amy. It ought to inspire me to make another donation to CRS.

Sparki

I will add my support for CRS. I just interviewed one of their monitoring and evaluation technical advisor. In emergency situations, they provide for immediate needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.), but in the long term, their goal is to enable each impovershed community to become self-sustaining at some point. But not "self-sustaining" in the U.S. ideal. They look to the local community for suggestions -- what are their talents, resources, skills and interests? -- so that the people will take on the responsibility enthusiaticly. Very great organization!

As for Plumpy'Nut, it sounds like a promising product for emergency situations, though maybe not for the long term. All kids need a variety of healthy foods. And the name isn't so bad. For some reason, I though it was "Plump'n'Nutty". Kinda like my dear old aunts Delores, Lorraine, Shirley and Florence.

Oh, Amy -- I can't get my e-mail to work, and I wanted to send you this link. Can you believe it???

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

Oh well, guess DWB is out of the question, then.

I am also a sometime-contributor to CRS. Do we know for sure whether they use Plumpy'Nut?

In Jesu et Maria,

Sparki

I wrote my CRS contact (in Malawi) to ask if they distribute Plupy'Nut. Should know by tomorrow & I will post her answer here.

Anne-Marie

Nerina wrote:
"...the percentage of donations that ACTUALLY reach the intended program goes up. They currently return 94% of each dollar raised to programs."

Is there any way to know how much of the money returned to programs gets spent on the programs themselves, rather than on, say, lining the pockets of corrupt local officials? I'm not targeting CRS here, just asking about relief organizations in general.

At Mass last week, there was a collection for Niger which the pastor assured us would be sent directly to a Grey Father who is a friend of the associate's, thus avoiding any skimming along the way.

Septimus

How can I get Plumpy'Nut? Sounds like it'd be awesome with raspberry jam on white bread!

Septimus

Seriously, many times people are sick, or infirm, and it's hard for them to get enough calories -- happened to both my parents before they died. Something like this might be valuable here for care of cancer patients, the elderly and others. And if the company makes a lot of money selling to rich Westerners, maybe it can afford to do more for the poor elsewhere.

Sparki

Here's word from my CRS contact. Sounds like they are soon piloting a program with Plumpy'Nut. Send them your donations and moral support!!

I can tell you that here in CRS/Malawi we are developing a health strategy and we're planning to pilot some projects that utilize Plumpy Nut though we haven't done so yet. Plumpy Nut shows promise and is being made locally here in Malawi,
making it a much more sustainable intervention for HIV patients and malnourished children. I don't know about CRS in other countries if they are using it in emergency situations.

She's checking to see if it's already in use elsewhere (CRS is in about 100 countries now).

Alice

You sick, sick people. You won't give your charity money to a group that provides much needed contraceptive and abortions to poor people? What on earth is wrong with you people? Have you ever thought that these people would be suffering a lot less if they had fewer children to feed? Or do you just think that it's precious that a a woman might have 10 children, 8 of which will starve to death? Some life isn't precious! These people would be better off and probably not have nearly the amount of starvation if the had fewer children, which means they need education about contraception. If properly promoted, good contraception prevents the need for abortion.


Tou are very ignorant, simpleminded people. Go pray to your dead man on a stick. All of you need serious professional help.

BTW, I give monthly to DWB.

Marc

Greetings,
My class and I are planning a seminar to discuss starving problems in
the world. We would like to know if we could purchase examples of the
Plumpy Nut that are fed to starving people. We can seem to buy packages anywhere. Can anyone help
us? Our seminar is August 25th.

Thank you for your time and I hope you can back to me ASAP.

Marc Rosenberg
Elan school
Poland, Maine

Pat

Anyone know how to get samples of Plumpy Nut? Would be good to have in an "emergency home kit".

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