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Texas Company Using Technology To Coordinate Relief Efforts In The Philippines

Caritas
/
CAFOD

One of the biggest challenges after a disaster the size of Super Typhoon Haiyan is coordinating the delivery of relief materials. The water, medicine and food can only help if it arrives where it’s needed, when it’s needed. That’s where technology comes into play, and a north Texas organization called Aidmatrix.

Dallas-based Aidmatrix provides software to more than 50,000 partners across the world to help move more than $1.5 billion dollars in aid every year. For the typhoon response, Aidmatrix is using its disaster relief system which has been used in more than 65 major disasters, including the Haiti Earthquake, Japan Tsunami, Superstorm Sandy, and more.

Scott McCallum, Aid Matrix CEO and Former Wisconsin Governor, says for Typhoon Haiyan one challenge is coordinating transportation of medicine and food.

“In the U.S. we’ve got literally thousands upon thousands of transportation companies listed to either donate transportation or discount price it,” he says. In the Phillipines, there are fewer  transporters and “the last mile is difficult” when you get into remote disaster areas.

McCallum says if you’re going to give, consider donating cash instead of goods.

“It’s much easier particularly international for people to donate cash to be able to purchase the needs either locally or within the region, McCallum says, “Because transportation does become fairly expensive and more complicated, particularly when it is long distance with very limited access in the Philippines.”

[More from KERA News: How You Can Help Typhoon Haiyan Victims]

To see a list of immediate needs for Typhoon Haiyan, and offer your financial or material support CLICK HERE.

Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.