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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Foreign assistance offers in the wake of Katrina.

Foreign assistance offers in the wake of Katrina.
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lurkalot
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Sep 1, 2005, 11:53 PM
 
From the daily press briefing of the United States Department of State. September 1, 2005.

"MR. MCCORMACK: Good afternoon. I want to start with a brief update on a topic that I know is of interest to everybody here concerning Hurricane Katrina relief and relief efforts as well as on offers of foreign assistance. Let me start off by saying that we have received numerous and generous offers of assistance from foreign governments and foreign organizations. And Secretary Rice after consulting with the White House has made it clear that we will accept all offers of foreign assistance. Anything that can be of help to alleviate the difficult situation, the tragic situation, of the people of the area affected by Hurricane Katrina will be accepted.

I can run through a list, thus far. It's a list that's being constantly updated and growing really by the hour. We've received general offers of assistance, as well as some more specific offers of assistance from a number of different countries and organizations and includes: Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, the Organization of American States, Jamaica, NATO, Australia, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. I'll try to keep you updated as best we can on those lists. Like I said, it's growing literally by the hour.

Also, I wanted to update you on a few messages of sympathy and condolences have been coming in. These have been streaming in. I don't have a complete list of those right now, but it's been very heartening and very gratifying to receive these messages coming in as people around the globe see the tragic situation and the suffering of the people of the areas affected by this hurricane and the aftermath.

Secretary Rice has spoken personally, for example, with Foreign Minister Fischer of Germany just this morning. We received messages of sympathy and condolence from other countries like Israel and Japan as well and I can go on and on. I don't have a complete list right now. Secretary Rice is being briefed by staff that is with her on a regular basis. She's in contact with -- back here in the Department with Under Secretary Burns who is quarterbacking our efforts here at the Department, making sure that the Department is working closely with foreign governments, as well as the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.

Secretary Rice spoke with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff this morning. She made it clear that the State Department is going to be working closely and in support of the Department of Homeland Security in their efforts. And really, that's all I have at the moment. I just wanted to open up because I knew that this is an interest -- some of you took interest in.

QUESTION: From what you know, are there any specifics, particularly graphic specifics or significant specifics, you can provide on Country X offering Item Y? Anything you could do to illustrate the generosity and the effort?

MR. MCCORMACK: Let me make one point before -- I'll try to give you some examples of the types of things that countries have offered. The process that's happening here is we are, here at the Department of State, receiving offers of foreign assistance from overseas. Embassies here in Washington contact us or foreign governments are contacting our embassies, and those requests are funneled back here to Washington. We then immediately pass those along to FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. The process then is Homeland Security and FEMA look at what the offers are, what the capabilities of those foreign countries are, those foreign organizations, and trying to match those up against needs. And so that's the process that's going on now. And Homeland Security and FEMA have the lead on that but we're working closely with them.

Let me give you a few examples of the types of things that have been offered: boats, aircraft, tents, blankets, generators, cash assistance, an offer of assistance from Venezuela through Citgo, which is a U.S. subsidiary of the Venezuelan Government National Oil Company.

QUESTION: And they offered oil? That's what I was asking about yesterday.

MR. MCCORMACK: Right. And you asked me -- you asked about that, yes.

What other types of offers? Offers of medical teams, offers of assistance in helping to restore electrical power expertise. So those are -- that's a sort of rough summary of the types of aid that has been offered."
Link

The other thread on this topic was started somewhat prematurely and saw a premature demise as well but for some reason it seems useful to me to have these offers and eventual actions on record here.

"From each according to ability, to each according to need".

Add offers as they continue to come in. Criticize, laud or comment otherwise as appropriate.
     
lurkalot  (op)
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Sep 2, 2005, 04:39 AM
 
New York, 1 September 2005 - Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Hurricane Katrina

"It's now clear that Hurricane Katrina has caused a huge disaster. 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. I know that I speak for the whole world in offering them my heartfelt sympathy, and any assistance that the United Nations can give.

Of course the United States is also the country in the world best prepared to cope with such a disaster. But the sheer size of this emergency makes it possible that we can supplement the American response with supplies from other countries, or with experience we have gained in other relief operations. I know we will not be alone. We will be happy to work with other parts of the international community to support the efforts of President Bush and his administration, the American Red Cross, and other U.S. relief organizations who have been our partners in the past." Link
     
lurkalot  (op)
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Sep 2, 2005, 05:28 AM
 
EU Presidency Statement on Hurricane Katrina (01/09/05)

The European Union today expressed its deep concern and support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which has devastated the southern United States. Following the first day of an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers taking place in Newport, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, speaking on behalf of the EU Presidency, said:

"We would like to send our thoughts to the families and friends of those in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama who lost their lives during the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina and to the thousands who have had their homes and livelihoods ruined. These are very difficult and painful days for the people of that region. The EU has offered to help the United States with any assistance that might be required in what is perhaps the greatest civil emergency in US history." Link

There are contradicting media reports (Reuters) whether the assistance offered would include oil.
Javier Solana apparently said it would while Jack Straw is claimed to have said it wouldn't. Link
     
von Wrangell
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Sep 2, 2005, 06:16 AM
 
Svenska Räddningsverket har erbjudit hjälp med bland annat vattenreningsverk, monteringsfärdiga hus för tillfälligt boende, sjukvårdsutrustning samt teknisk hjälp med att återställa telekommunikationerna.

http://www.aftonbladet.se/vss/nyhete...693148,00.html
rough translation.

The Swedish Rescue Agency has offered help with watercleaning, temporary housing, first aid material as well as technical help in repairing telephonelines and equipment.
So how does this work? Should we demand an apology from those who said various things about Europe when it comes to this? Nah, we aren't as petty as them.

To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid
     
lurkalot  (op)
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Sep 2, 2005, 11:04 PM
 
Just a brief update on the list of those who offered assistance then:

The department said offers of help had been received from: Australia, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, the European Union, France, Germany, Guatemala, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, NATO, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Organization of American States, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization.

Is it complete?

In her, September 2, 2005, On-The- Record Briefing about International Relief Activities Related to Hurricane Katrina, Secretary Condoleeza Rice said; "I want to note in particular that we received a generous offer of support from Sri Lanka, a country that, as we speak, is still recovering from its own massive natural disaster." Link

I would like to add a comment and point out that there are a number of other countries in the list above that -like Sri Lanka- are still recovering from the tsunami or recent weather related disasters (of different scales) yet offered relief to the people in need in the wake of Katrina.

To quote once more the U.S. Secretary of State from her September 2, 2005 briefing;
"Recently, we have seen the American people respond generously to help others around the globe during their times of distress, such as during the recent tsunami. Today, we are seeing a similar urgent, warm and compassionate reaction from the international community in response to Katrina."

Little I can add to that except to say it has been noted.
     
lurkalot  (op)
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Sep 3, 2005, 01:34 AM
 
Beyond mere words.

According to various news sources at least one foreign search and rescue team has actually arrived in Louisiana to offer assistance while more supplies and manpower are on the way.

From Bloomberg, "Canadian Rescue Team Sent to Louisiana to Assist in Searches" (September 1, 2005):
"The team includes 32 search-and-rescue experts, two doctors, 12 paramedics, four search dogs and experts trained in handling hazardous materials and assessing damage, the government said. The rescue team will be under the command of the Louisiana State Police, the statement said."
Link

Edit to add. The Canadian Government has set up webpages specifically for Katrina related information. Link and Link.
Have other countries set up similar pages for easy reference and coordination of relief efforts?

Edit to add: An interesting side note. In the September 2, 2005 press release from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs related in part to Katrina I found this information:
"I should note that there are three facilities in the world run by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that stockpile these goods for rescue efforts. Indeed in the state of Florida, in Miami, there is a facility that stockpiles a million dollars worth of goods such as blankets, electric generators and the like. From there, those goods will be shipped upon the request of the US. So they are ready to be used." Link

Apparently not all foreign aid would still have to be brought in from abroad (in this case Japan).
( Last edited by lurkalot; Sep 3, 2005 at 02:23 AM. )
     
Pendergast
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Sep 3, 2005, 01:43 PM
 
Canada also sent 2 destroyers packed with food and stuff to help.

I am glad we are doing that.
"Criticism is a misconception: we must read not to understand others but to understand ourselves.”

Emile M. Cioran
     
E's Lil Theorem
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Sep 3, 2005, 03:03 PM
 
Cuba's Fidel Castro has offered help as well:

Castro offers medical aid to U.S.

Saturday, September 3, 2005; Posted: 4:33 a.m. EDT (08:33 GMT)

HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) -- Cuban President Fidel Castro has offered to send help to the United States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

At a nightly roundtable program on state-run television Friday, the Cuban leader said his nation was ready to send 1,100 doctors and 26 tons of medicine and equipment.

"Others have sent money; we are offering to save lives," he said.

Castro -- an enemy of U.S. President George W. Bush and frequent subject of condemnation from the White House -- said he would not comment on the U.S. government's response to the tragedy because "this is not the time to kick an adversary -- while he's down."

Castro said the doctors he was offering have international experience.

The United States has no diplomatic relations with Cuba. It remained unclear whether the White House would take Castro up on his offer.

After a massive earthquake in Bam, Iran, in December 2003, the United States sent aid -- even though the United States has no diplomatic ties with Iran.
Linkage

Pretty interesting move on his part. I'm sure he's aware that the US wont accept help from a communist, but he still looks good in front of the world community. It'd be interesting if the US did accept it, though. Heh, I wonder what sort of spin each would put on it.
     
lurkalot  (op)
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Sep 18, 2005, 07:55 AM
 
List with some details at this link.

Complete?
     
analogika
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Sep 18, 2005, 10:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by E's Lil Theorem
Cuba's Fidel Castro has offered help as well:



Linkage

Pretty interesting move on his part. I'm sure he's aware that the US wont accept help from a communist, but he still looks good in front of the world community. It'd be interesting if the US did accept it, though. Heh, I wonder what sort of spin each would put on it.
His offering is quite considerable, especially taking in mind that Cuba was, itself, hit.

The amusing twist to this is that a little while ago, Castro turned down US aid in the wake of a hurricane - presumably because he considered the $50,000 offered (not a typo) more of an insult than an offer...
     
   
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