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Why is International Support for Harvey/Houston So Low?

After Hurricane Katrina over 150 foreign countries contributed or offered aid.

Under the Chumphshit…That has dropped to a trickle.

Yet another way the Chumphshit is destroying America.

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Dozens of countries offered help after Hurricane Katrina. After Harvey, not so much.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, more than 150 countries offered volunteers, supplies and cash to the United States.

Impoverished Bangladesh, suffering a not-so-slow-motion climate catastrophe, promised $1 million and rescuers. Thailand offered 60 doctors and rice as a “gesture from the heart.” Germany sent high-speed pumps; the Dutch offered levee reconstruction experts. “Very large cash” donations came from Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Canada sent navy ships, helicopters and about 1,000 helpers.

Mexico’s convoy of soldiers, all-terrain rescue vehicles and drinking water was followed by food, medical workers, water-treatment facilities and a kitchen that could feed 7,000 people daily.

After Harvey?

Not crickets exactly, but close. Few countries have publicly offered aid.

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The European Union sent satellites. In a statement, Mexico offered “help and coordination” to Harvey-ravaged Texas, though they didn’t go into specifics. It’s worth noting, too, that that same statement responded forcefully to a Twitter diatribe from President Trump, who once again demanded that Mexico pay for a border wall and threatened to “terminate” NAFTA. (The State Department has not said whether it will accept aid from Mexico. In a statement, it said “if a need for assistance does arise, we will work with our partners, including Mexico, to determine the best way forward.”)

Canadians are shipping supplies like baby bottles, formula and bath towels. Taiwan reportedly offered $800,000, and Venezuela promised $5 million. It’s unclear whether that funding would be accepted.

At a White House briefing, spokesman Thomas Bossert said that Mexican and Canadian leaders have called the president, but they didn’t discuss how those countries might help. “The president didn’t get into the specifics, and neither did the heads of state calling. So I think their primary purpose was to express and extend their prayers and their thoughts and their condolences to those that lost their lives,” he said.

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Bossert also noted that the White House would turn over to FEMA and the State Department any “actual concrete” offers. FEMA did not return a request for comment. State directed questions to FEMA.

It’s possible that more offers of aid are forthcoming, and that countries are simply waiting to see how things play out. But Markos Kounalakis, a professor at Central European University, has a different theory about what’s going on.

“Maybe a distracted State Department experiencing attrition is unable to process foreign offers and aid. But it might also be that Trump actively alienates American friends and allies, boasts he is cutting USAID, and makes clear that America First translates into an aid policy of every nation for itself,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Miami Herald. “Countries seeking political payback, or simply eager to make a point, by sitting silent is a conceivable, if cruel, reaction to a White House that has been deliberately self-centered and dangerously provocative.”

There’s another possibility, too.

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The United States struggled to make use of the foreign aid donated after Katrina. According to a 2011 Heritage Foundation report, just $115 million of the $850 million offered in Katrina relief was used. About $400 million of oil aid sat untouched. There were other snafus, too. Britain donated 400,000 ready-to-eat meals. But some contained beef, banned at the time because of fears of mad cow disease. So the food sat in a factory in Arkansas.

At one point, the State Department suggested that countries funnel their donations directly to organizations like the Red Cross, where they’d be put to better use.

At the time, the Bush administration explained things this way. “There is a process of matching needs with expertise and the donations that have been made,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack explained to the Associated Press. Decisions about what to accept are based on need, he said, not politics. Germany’s high-speed pumps, for example, were eagerly accepted. Cuba’s offer of 1,100 doctors, not so much.

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Sean Penn Lays it on the Line About Haiti Aid

There is a huge stinking dead elephant in the room right now concerning Haiti. BTx3 has been working on this since shortly after the quake in January – so I’m fairly well versed on the problems (an there are a mess of them).

The issue here is that after committing nearly $10 billion to a 10 year recovery plan for Haiti, things hit a roadblock. The inborn corruption which has dominated Haiti’s serial failure for the past 80 years showed no sign of abatement in the face of the country’s most terrible catastrophe. Indeed – by some estimates over $150 million worth of the delivered $850 million in AID so far has been “disappeared” either by street “pirates” or by a group of corrupt Government officials (who by no means represent anything but a portion of the Government officials in the country)…

Resulting in the promised AID being suspended. There was a meeting at the United Nations back on April 30th where the 22 Nations which are footing the $10 billion laid down the law. There would be no more money as long as the corrupt officials held power. The donor nations KNOW WHO THEY ARE. The crooks got to keep what they stole, as long as they just left…

The problem is – the corrupt officials are sitting on lots of ill gotten gains. They are not the ones living under blankets strung out over the mud in the massive refugee “cities” which have sprung up full of people displaced by the quake damage. They also know that under current conditions an additional 200,000 or more could die due to typhoid or some other epidemic embarrassing the first world countries into acquiescence.

Business as usual in Haiti.

In the meantime, some basic shit isn’t happening. The 1.3 million folks living under blankets in “tent” cities aren’t seeing much hope of getting out of those cities, they aren’t getting enough food, and the medical support is strained to the limit. Violent criminal gangs are again roaming the streets, while the police – who lost 2,000 of their 8,000 man force and nearly half their equipment are struggling just to provide basic law enforcement, against at leat one, and possibly two “super gangs” who now outnumber the police force.

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Posted by on May 19, 2010 in News

 

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A Couple of Places to Help Haiti

Local DC Folks –

Volunteer for Haitian Relief
Haitian Embassy , 2311 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
The Embassy of Haiti and ServeDC are asking for volunteers to man telephone banks at the Haitian Embassy.
For more information  http://www.haiti.org
If you have time to assist, please contact ServeDC at (202) 727-7925 or  http://www.serve.dc.gov
.
Anyone located anywhere can assist here. or get leads to local efforts –

If you are able to offer mental health services and grief counseling, please contact the DC Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency at (202) 272-6161.

Additional information on support and volunteerism can obtained by contacting the Haitian Embassy – Greater Washington Haitian Relief Committee is (202) 241-3593 or http://www.gwhrc.org

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2010 in News

 

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