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Global Aid Offers Numerous in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

by Kevin Caruso

September 2, 2005

Over 40 countries and international organizations have offered aid to the U.S. for hurricane relief.

"The U.S. government will accept any assistance that can help Hurricane Katrina survivors," said Sean McCormick, a State Department spokesman.

"The pictures that we see on television are hard to bear," German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder told reporters today at the Chancellery in Berlin. "It is not only our historical duty, because we've received unlimited help from the American people after the war, but it also goes without saying."

And the U.S. is accepting aid from relatively poor countries, including Sri Lanka, which was hit hard by the tsunami.

"The people of Sri Lanka and I fully comprehend the grief and the sense of loss experienced by the victims of the hurricane," Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said in a statement.

Sri Lanka is donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross.

Australia has pledged $8 million to the Red Cross.

Japan is offering $200,000 and an additional $300,000 in tents, blankets, power generators, and water tanks.

France has offered 600 tents, 1,000 camp beds, 60 generators, and three portable water-treatment plants, according to Denis Simonneau, deputy spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry. A 60-strong disaster relief team could be sent ``very quickly,'' and two planes, two naval ships, a hospital ship, and 35 aid workers are standing ready in the Caribbean, he added.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez offered $1 million to the Red Cross through Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of the country's national oil company.

"As many as 2,000 Citgo refinery workers in Lake Charles, Louisiana are homeless," said Arelis Paiva, an embassy spokeswoman.

Other nations or organizations that have offered assistance are: Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, the European Commission, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Lithuania, Mexico, NATO, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Organization of American States, Paraguay, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the U.K., and the UN High Commission on Refugees, according to the State Department


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