Stop sending high heels to disaster zones, Aussies told

Cyclone Winston devastation (Getty)
Australians sent unwanted items like high heels, sports gear, chainsaws, carpets and woolly jumpers to Fiji after Cyclone Winston last year (Getty)

A charity has called on Australians to be more selective when donating items to disaster zones after getting inundated with high heels, chainsaws and carpets.

The Australian Red Cross says the unhelpful items may be causing more harm than good, as relief workers who are meant to be providing humanitarian aid have to sort through the items.

After Cyclone Winston hit Fiji last year, the charity was sent sports gear, chainsaws, carpets and woolly jumpers.

"When you factor in shipping fees, storage, warehousing and distribution costs, it's likely that the costs are far exceeding the value of these goods," Joanna Pradela, the Australian Council for International Development's (ACFID) head of policy and advocacy told ABC News.

Ms Pradela says the cost of dealing with unwanted items is usually met by the countries having to deal with the disasters.

"Very few Pacific Island countries have the resources to deal with the influx of things that arrive on their shores."

The Australian Red Cross says donating money is the best way to help.