France has already pledged over 22 million euros (30 million dollars) in aid, a quarter of which through an EU relief package.
Experts say charities tend to achieve more than government-to-government aid because they involve less bureaucracy, less corruption and closer ties to those in need.
"Private aid tends to be more effective," said Ian Vasquez of the Cato Institute (search). "It gets to the people that it's intended for, it's used generally in ways that help people."
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder returned early from vacation to supervise relief efforts. Germany pledged at least $27 million in aid. France has pledged at least $20 million. As a rule, Europeans rely more on government aid and less on private charities.