Google.org Pledges $3 Million to GiveDirectly for Disaster Relief

Google.org Pledges $3 Million to GiveDirectly for Disaster Relief

has announced a $3 million contribution to in support of large-scale cash transfers to low-income U.S. families affected by natural disasters.

The funds will enable GiveDirectly to support more than twenty-four hundred families when a hurricane or other disaster hits and better identify and support the people most in need during each phase of the recovery process. To that end, a team of four is working full-time ahead of the 2019 hurricane season to combine government data on socioeconomic indicators and storm damage data into a single tool.

In response to Hurricane Maria in 2017, GiveDirectly distributed cash to more than forty-seven hundred families, empowering them to address their most pressing needs. While disaster-relief efforts tend to focus on providing pre-set bundles of goods and services such as water or building materials, it's impossible for such assistance to meet the diverse needs of those affected by a disaster, Google.org president Jacquelline Fuller and GiveDirectly CFO Joe Huston wrote in a blog post.

According to a 2018 published by GiveDirectly, cash transfers had a significant impact on the poorest populations following the 2017 hurricanes in Texas and Puerto Rico, enabling families to enrich their children's nutritional intake, repair their homes, avoid debt, and reduce their stress.

"There are still important questions remaining about direct cash giving after natural disasters," wrote Fuller. "Our collaboration with GiveDirectly on this work will be guided by some of these outstanding questions: How does the impact change if you give the cash several weeks after a disaster, as opposed to several months later, as was the case in the pilot study? Does giving money at different intervals have different impacts? Do large cash transfer programs impact the economy beyond individual recipients?"

Jacquelline Fuller, Joe Huston. "A Proactive Approach to Disaster Relief." Google.org and GiveDirectly Blog Post 08/14/2019.