...But if disaster can bring out the worst in human nature, it can also bring out the best, as when humanitarians find partners in unexpected places. As just one example, Islamic Relief USA is teaming up with its longtime partner, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to send planes loaded with hygiene kits and assorted supplies to Port-au-Prince, sharing the transport, supply, and distribution costs in order to streamline their efforts. "It's still being finalized, but it'll probably be that we cover the cost of the shipment and they supply the goods," says Islamic Relief spokesman Mostafa Mahboob. The two groups have partnered for the past five years, responding together to disasters like the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Pakistan earthquake, and Hurricane Katrina. Both groups are now sending teams of doctors and other relief specialists to assist with the distribution. "Each time something like this happens, we've been partnering up as soon as we can because we have different connections, both on the ground and to pharmaceutical companies and such," Mahboob explains. "So, in places like Indonesia, we'll take care of distributing supplies because we know people there. But in Samoa, [the Mormons] took the lead because there they had a well-established community. It works out really well."
Religious communities across America are following an established, if grim, script, organizing support for the latest disaster, the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti.
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