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Donations in the Great Flood of Iran, 2019: Strengths and Challenges


Mahmoudreza Peyravi 1 , 2 , Ali Asghar Peyvandi 3 , Milad Ahmadi Marzaleh 4 , *


1 Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, Health Human Resources Research Center, School of Management and Medical Informatics, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Research Center for Emergency and Disaster Resilience, Red Recent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran, Iran

3 Hearing Disorders Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Student Research Committee, Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies, Health Human Resources Research Center, School of Management and Medical Informatics, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal: 21 (5); e92904
Published Online: May 12, 2019
Article Type: Letter
Received: May 4, 2019
Accepted: May 6, 2019





Altruism Disasters Donation Empathy Floods Humans Iran, Management Red Cross Trustees

Copyright © 2019, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited

Dear Editor,

In the great flood of Iran, a wide range of donations was presented to the people affected by the flood as the sign of altruism and philanthropy. The Red Crescent of the Islamic Republic of Iran was majorly responsible for managing the donated goods. Although donations came from various provinces of Iran, they had similar challenges and strengths. The strengths of the donation process included: (1) performing a quick assessment of the needs of the affected people and then announcing the people and other organizations to present their donations, (2) considering convenient and straight account numbers for depositing the donations, (3) paying attention to various cultures with respect to different needs, (4) accumulating the donations and distributing them to the flooded areas, (5) the presence of a local trustee at the time of distributing the goods, (6) forming a household identity card among people, (7) dividing the city into separate areas and then distributing the goods, (8) the contribution of celebrities to the distribution of the goods and encouraging people to deliver donations, (9) receiving donations from other countries, and (10) local people’s assistance in classifying the donations.

The challenges of the donations included: (1) people’s donations being second-handed, (2) not classifying people’s donations, (3) not considering certain cultural features such as ethnicity and custom, (4) reduction of donations over time, (5) sanctions, (6) people’s increased expectations, (7) distribution of donations by groups, organizations, and various individuals that caused irregularities, (8) inability to distribute donations due to roads collapse, and (9) donors’ emotional status, which led to the reduction of the number of donations over time.

Donors show empathy with the victims of natural disasters. However, uneven distribution of donations results in waste of resources. The existence of developmental programs can lead to the more efficient management of these donations. Therefore, crisis and disaster managers and policymakers should consider specific protocols and plans for managing such donations. Indeed, only should a single organization take full responsibility for the task (1, 2).

  • 1. Tomasini RM, Van Wassenhove LN. From preparedness to partnerships: Case study research on humanitarian logistics. Int Trans Oper Res. 2009;16(5):549-59. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-3995.2009.00697.x.
  • 2. Ferrer JM, Martín-Campo FJ, Ortuño MT, Pedraza-Martínez AJ, Tirado G, Vitoriano B. Multi-criteria optimization for last mile distribution of disaster relief aid: Test cases and applications. Eur J Oper Res. 2018;269(2):501-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ejor.2018.02.043.