And here’s a useful statement from the British Red Cross titled Why we ask for money, not gifts:
It is often thought that a ‘free’ donation of clothes, medicine, or tinned food helps the victims of disasters, but with cash the British Red Cross can help more people, more cheaply, and more efficiently.
As part of the world’s largest emergency response network, the British Red Cross is ready to meet crisis needs anywhere, at any time. That means having the right equipment, personnel, aid and technical know-how to respond to anything from a major earthquake to the outbreak of war.
Cash is the lifeblood of rapid response. It can be instantly transferred and converted into whatever is most needed, anywhere in the world. Cash not only allows us to use our strong purchasing power to benefit the maximum number of people; it also allows us to adjust our response very rapidly to changing needs and priorities in the affected country.