Editor's Note: Vishnu Sridharan is Program Associate in the Global Assets Project at the New America Foundation. This post is part of the Global Innovation Showcase created by the New America Foundation and the Global Public Square.
By Vishnu Sridharan - Special to CNN
Since July, at least 745 people have been killed and 8 million affected by monsoon rains and flooding across Southeast Asia. In response to the floods of the past week, a number of countries pledged assistance: U.S. Marines arrived in Bangkok last Saturday with equipment and sandbags; China has provided 64 rescue boats and water-purifying equipment; Japan has come forward with tents, blankets, mattresses and electricity generators. In addition to the provision of these ‘in-kind’ goods, however, Australia and the Philippines stepped in with a kind of aid that only a couple years ago was considered controversial: cold, hard cash.