Skip to comments.Shameful: Only 25 Nations Offer Help to the U.S.
Posted on 09/02/2005 3:50:29 PM PDT by metalmanx2j
When the Indian Ocean tsunami devastated many nations across Asia in December, the United States rushed to the aid of victims by pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance just as it has offered aid whenever a natural disaster strikes in another country.
Now the U.S. is facing a catastrophe of its own from Hurricane Katrina.
Though the U.N.'s own top official for disaster relief has called Katrina one of "the largest, most destructive natural disasters ever," shamefully only a handful of nations at last count just 25 nations of the 191 countries in the United Nations have come forward to offer assistance.
And almost none have offered what America has so often provided: money.
And the aid so far offered by foreign nations amounts to a drop in the bucket considering the anticipated multi-billion-dollar cost of dealing with the immediate crisis and the reconstruction to follow.
President Bush has urged Americans to send cash donations to private relief organizations rather than in-kind contributions such as clothing and food.
The same could be applied to foreign nations, most of which have been on the receiving end of massive financial assistance from then U.S. over the years.
President Bush told ABC-TV Thursday morning: "I'm not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn't asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars.
"We would love help, but we're going to take care of our own business as well, and there's no doubt in my mind we'll succeed."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has decided that "no offer that can help alleviate the suffering of the people in the afflicted area will be refused," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.
The American Tsunami'
The offers of assistance so far pale in comparison to the aid pledged by the U.S. for tsunami relief, including $346 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Defense Department for their relief efforts, $339 million for reconstruction and $168 million to help victims with food, shelter, housing and education.
In addition, a private fund-raising campaign led by former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton brought in more than $1 billion for tsunami victims.
In fact, at least one-third of American households have donated money to an aid group in tsunami-hit nations.
Now the U.S. is trying to deal with the "American tsunami."
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan acknowledged the extent of the disaster, saying through a spokesman: "The damage is far worse than any of us imagined at first. The American people who have always been the most generous in responding to disasters in other parts of the world have now themselves suffered a grievous blow."
But he went on to add: "Of course the United States is also the country in the world best prepared to cope with such a disaster."
While Annan has not spoken directly with President Bush, he did meet with America's U.N. ambassador John Bolton to convey the U.N.'s readiness to help.
While it is true that America indeed is a wealthy nation, a sentiment of help and support would be appropriate and courteous. Apparently, most nations do not believe in courtesy.
Of the nations that have offered assistance to the U.S., few have offered money. China, for example, presented $100,000 to the American Red Cross.
Russia has offered boats and aircraft. On Wednesday, Russian president Vladimir Putin offered to send a group of military special forces specializing in search and rescue to the region. That offer was rejected by the State Department.
Japan has promised tents, blankets and generators. Even France offered a fire brigade.
Germany is willing to provide communications equipment. Israel, which receives $2.2 billion in U.S. aid each year, has offered to send doctors, nurses, technicians and other experts in dealing with natural disasters, as well as field hospitals and medical kits.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a vocal critic of the U.S., made a mocking offer to send cheap fuel and relief workers to the stricken area.
At about the same time he used the disaster as an opportunity to attack President Bush, calling him a "cowboy" who failed to manage the disaster.
Other nations that have offered some form of aid include Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Honduras, the UK, Greece, the Netherlands, South Korea, Switzerland, Colombia, the United Arab Emirates and Australia.
"They're the most powerful, wealthiest country in the world, but when something like this strikes, the poor and the vulnerable are the same all around the world," said Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
One nation not on the list is oil-rich Kuwait, which owes its very existence to America's liberation effort following Iraq's invasion.
In fact, a high-ranking Kuwaiti official has said Hurricane Katrina was sent by Allah, adding that "disaster will keep striking the unbelievers."
No matter how much foreign aid does arrive in the U.S., it's clear that America will have to shoulder almost all the financial burden in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The size of that burden became clear when President Bush asked Congress for an initial appropriation of $10 billion. Officials say the total cost of dealing with the reconstruction will be as high as $50 billion.
Meanwhile, the U.S. could find itself with a new security nightmare.
As the Pentagon prepares to send as many as 50,000 troops to the disaster region, the White House must also find the manpower for the U.N.'s special summit, due to convene in New York on September 12.
More than 150 heads of state are expected to attend.
One topic slated for discussion is progress in relief for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.
Said one U.N. official: "Now we have something new to add to the agenda."
In addition to Katrina, one topic the U.N. might include on their agenda: ingratitude.
Nations That Have Offered Katrina Hurricane Aid:
Russia Japan Canada France Honduras Germany Venezuela Jamaica Australia UK/Northern Ireland Netherlands Switzerland Greece Hungary Colombia Dominican Republic El Salvador Mexico China South Korea Israel United Arab Emirates Taiwan Sri Lanka Singapore
well to those that helped, Thank you very much. It is much appreciated.
I would just ignore those that aren't helping or even sending condolences.
I don't want to see anyone point and say well IRAQ isn't helping us. No crap. They have other things to concentrate on. Besides their government really has no money or aid to give the US at this point.
I'm curious. What sort of assistance would we request?
Who's going to send aid to help roaming bands of looters and marauders?
I think the answer here is that Americans -- private Americans, not the government -- need to start sending their relief money to an America-only pool. If we're always left to handle our own problems, then the rest of the world should be free to do so as well.
I'm surprised that 25 did.
That's okay. It's a good list. Even China. And the small countries that don't really have much to spare.
Mexico has volunteered to send over millions of cheap laborers to help in the rebuilding.
Just goes to show who your friends REALLY are in a pinch....
We have a long memory.
Who cares? We don't need their help. Besides, any country that gives us $10 million will expect back $100 million in some form or another.
I've argued elsewhere that the NOPD should have been a little more like the South Korean Riot Police from Day 1. This BS would not be going on now if they had.
What would we do with them anyway? We have trouble organizing ourselves. LOL
Think outside the box. Maybe Somalia or Palestine could offer to take some of the looters and marauders off our hands for a while. They would feel right at home in those communities.
I didn't read closely but I didn't see the offer of Kofi Annan that I heard on the radio: the UN can't offer money, but will be glad to offer its "expertise." (!!)
... and we don't need their help.
US outta the UN. UN outta the US!
they are already here
Would make a great t-shirt/bumper sticker/sign
Call John F'n Kerry... he's friends with all of them.
"Mexico (y tambien, Latinoamerica), you are now kindly invited to take back your millions of citizens, so we can free up needed money to rebuild the Gulf of Mexico area and take care of our American citizens, with some of the money, not an insignificant amount, that would otherwise go to the provision of our social services to your nationals on our soil. While you are at it, please arrange with us transport of the hundreds of thousands of your nationals in our prisons who are also causing us to use monies we would otherwise like to free up to assist our own citizens. Muchisimas gracias,"
Good grief.... Of all the "ungrateful" sentiments I've read about today, this is the worst.
As far as I'm concerned I'd accept aid from the Brits and the Aussies, but Spain, France and Germany can go to hell.
The governments of 26 countries agreed Friday to release the equivalent of 2 million barrels of oil per day from strategic reserves to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the International Energy Agency said.
2 million barrels per day at $70 per barrel comes to $140 million per day, and decreases the tightness in the markets.
Italy is not making these lists, but they have offered aid as well.
Must be a job for the UN.
As an American, I would accept help from any country, even a gesture if it is done in good faith.
If a country doesn't want to assist, that is fine with me too. Especially if they would only do so to make some kind of political points.
One of the things that made me tear up, was after 9/11, a Masai tribe from a villiage in Africa offered to send cattle to the USA. I believe the offer was declined...but I have no doubt they would have sent it.
Cattle are the most important thing to those people, and the offer was worth more than any money they might have sent.
And so it goes. Let countries and people do what they must, and we control the things we can control.
You back already?
Iran offered help and Arabia is pumping more oil for us. What other countries are in a position to help, but didn't?
America can and should help itself.
Where are we going to refine it? Crude isn't the problem, refining it is.
I'd prefer a little moral support, actually, but it doesn't matter. Bless the ones who responded, and yes, even Iran and Venezuela although they did so for ulterior motives. Forgive the rest. It just doesn't matter.
Great comment. Thanks for the levity, it's needed.
Israel is sending its specialized trauma units that deal with disasters continually. See todays Jerusalem Post.
Sorry.... Kerry is out of the office. He's with his inflatable doll, in transition between Hunter Thompson's funeral here in Colorado and the Cindy Sheehan get-together in Crawford. Meanwhile, Teresa Heinz has donated millions of dollars to the gay pride parade in New Orleans that had to cancel their Labor Day event.
where is the UN now??
And another list found with googling
Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, Jamaica, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Guatemala, Paraguay, Belgium, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Italy, Guyana, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Lithuania, Spain, Dominica, Norway, Cuba, Bahamas, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Iceland, India, Jordan, Luxembourg, the Philippines, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey
Can you not read? MONEY to relief agencies.
Damn. Thanks for the information. At least Sri Lanka has character, and I hope we send them even more aid because of it.
In most cases, it's symbolism over substance. The United States is quite capable of handling this ourselves, but the outpouring of help is appreciated as many Americans realize we are not alone, and other countries support us.
We've supported every other country in their time of need, and it's appreciated that they respond back accordingly. As to those countries who don't support us now, figuring we don't need or deserve it, I hope this lesson will be remembered for future help they find themselves needing. Yes, we'll still help them, but perhaps not quite as much as we might have otherwise.
You're just awesome! Thank you!
We don't believe your propaganda spin.
Who gives a damned?!! Only socialists and nanny state supporters BEG for others to give them money.
Americans have always led the world in self-sufficiency, strength and honor. Liberals and other slaves BEG for alms.