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Towards a Circular Economy of Aid: a proposal to use circular principles in disaster relief

Presentation Description

Its a familiar story: following a disaster or crisis, well-intentioned people, motivated by grief and empathy, spontaneously donate goods to the affected communities. These goods are called Unsolicited Bilateral Donations (UBDs), in-kind donations, gifts-in-kind, or unsolicited material donations. These donated items are not requested by emergency response organizations and do not meet the needs of the affected populations. Such donations are an often-unseen but highly impactful problem within the disaster relief system and can have a dramatic effect on logistical, financial, environmental, and public health aspects of recovery from a disaster. Unwanted donations can clog ports, prevent essential aid items from getting where they are needed, and cause vast environmental damage if they are left to rot or sent to landfill. RightBoot aims to transform the way we give, and the way we view waste in the humanitarian system. In relation to the 2021 theme, we believe that the value of what we see as 'waste' - both the material value and the intrinsic value, the spirit of kindness in which it was given - is a valuable, untapped asset in providing truly sustainable disaster relief. This presentation will illuminate the issue of disruptive donations and material waste and explore circular opportunities to transform these barriers into complete aid solutions so that both people and planet can thrive.

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