In the wake of the devastation wrought to the Gulf Coast of the United States by hurricane Katrina, offers of assistance are flowing in from around the world. More than one-hundred countries and international organizations have offered to help the U.S. recover from one of the worst natural disasters in American history. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice thanked the world community for its outpouring of aid:
"I want to express the heartfelt thanks of the President, the United States Government and all Americans, to the leaders and citizens of the many nations and international organizations that have already offered kind and generous support. Organizations like the United Nations, NATO, the Organization of American States, the European Union, and others are showing their solidarity with us during this time."
The European Union said it’s member states were offering blankets, fifteen water trucks, fifty-thousand first-aid kits, and other assistance. Italy has already delivered tents, cots, blankets and a crisis response team. Canada said it was sending three dozen divers and experts to restart the electric grids.
Twenty-six member countries of the International Energy Agency agreed to make available two million barrels of additional crude oil and gasoline products per day to help alleviate market pressure. Greece has provided ships for housing displaced people. Germany has provided high-speed water pumps. Mexico, Japan, and Britain have sent emergency supplies. NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center has played an important role in soliciting and coordinating assistance.
Kuwait pledged four-hundred-million dollars in oil and gasoline and one-hundred-million dollars in cash and other assistance. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have each pledged one hundred million dollars. India is donating five million dollars plus emergency supplies. Bangladesh and Pakistan have promised a million dollars and Afghanistan one-hundred thousand dollars. Sri Lanka, still struggling with the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami, has said it will donate twenty-five thousand dollars.
Every contribution is valuable to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Secretary of State Rice said, "We have seen the American people respond generously to help others around the globe during their times of distress. Today, we are seeing a similar urgent, warm and compassionate reaction from the international community in response to Katrina."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.