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What happened to Katrina foreign aid?
August 30, 2006 9:38 PM   Subscribe

Katrina: Money for Nothing? The United States received hundreds of millions in foreign aid last year, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. But what happened to the money?
posted by js003 (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
My God. My God. I keep thinking that this government can't do any worse and then they manage to go one level deeper.

I'm sure they're going to use thermonuclear weapons before this is all over... it's about the only bad thing they haven't done yet.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:11 PM on August 30, 2006


Wow. That's truly apalling. How anyone can stand by this administration is beyond me. It is the worst collection of bunglers, dissemblers, and liars ever collected in Washington, and that's saying something. Can we impeach them yet?

And furthermore, how has it taken so long for this to come to light? Kudos to FP for finally reporting it, but geez...the media these days is bordering on useless.

I'm going to go drink myself to sleep.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 10:39 PM on August 30, 2006


By late October, the State Department had allocated $66 million of the $126 million in international assistance to FEMA, which then granted it to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the nonprofit aid arm of the United Methodist Church. With the funds, UMCOR established Katrina Aid Today, a consortium of nine national aid agencies dedicated to case-management work for Katrina evacuees. But to date, only $13 million has actually been disbursed, and it has been allocated almost exclusively to salaries and training for case workers, not to evacuees.

Modern charity is a racket, at least here in the U.S. As with the Health insurance racket, most of the money goes to cover administrative overhead. Quite frankly, I'm not surprised. The donor countries should ask for some accountability.

Also note the Faith-Based NGO that State gave the funds to. Accountability, most definitely.
posted by vhsiv at 10:42 PM on August 30, 2006


This sort of misuse of foreign aid is something that would be expected from petty third-world dictatorships, not from the most powerful free nation on earth.

How far have we fallen.
posted by PsychoKick at 10:50 PM on August 30, 2006


I really need to find an image of Uncle Sam jumping over a shark.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:13 PM on August 30, 2006


I'd like to say I'm outraged, but I'm hardly even surprised. I still have a lot of respect for civil servants, but the upper echelons of the government consist of little more than gangsters collecting protection money.
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:35 PM on August 30, 2006



posted by sergeant sandwich at 2:38 AM on August 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


I am actually suprised. Good for the countries smart enough not to send the money to the government, but private charaties
posted by delmoi at 2:55 AM on August 31, 2006


Wow. Just when I think that my opinion of the government cannot get any worse.

Actually, at this point I wouldn't be surprised if they engineered some way to give that money to Corporate America. That's probably in the next budget or something.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:47 AM on August 31, 2006


People love to complain about how aid to Africa gets wasted. If the US can't get it right with all of its resources and organization, how is a struggling African nation supposed to get it right. This is a nice little situation to throw back into the face of the next politician who claims we should stop sending aid to other countries because it just gets wasted.
posted by caddis at 5:06 AM on August 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


How anyone can stand by this administration is beyond me.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 10:39 PM PST


Too bad PP has left, but if you are looking for people to ask why they support the US Government I'd suggest going to freerepublic or littlegreenfootballs.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:07 AM on August 31, 2006


We should collect links and stories like this one - obvious objective indicia of the administrations disasters, and head over to LGF, freerepublic, etc en masse and post stories there that ask them how given A, B, C facts, they can still support the administration.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:59 AM on August 31, 2006


caddis nails it - except for the bizzarro world spin. They'll say, if even we can't get it right, we shouldn't expect these other countries to get it right, so we shouldn't bother sending the money.

The possibility that other countries might actually be less corrupt is lost on them.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:02 AM on August 31, 2006


"if you are looking for people to ask why they support the US Government..."

Just stay right here on MeFi and state that this situation is the nature of bureaucratic bumbling, regardless of who control the executive and legislative branches.

The faith around here in a government that could actually work is as misguided as a christian's faith in god.

"How far have we fallen."

You say that like the US was once more creditable than now. Heh, quit watching "Leave It To Beaver".
posted by mischief at 8:28 AM on August 31, 2006


i_am_a_Jedi: Actually, at this point I wouldn't be surprised if they engineered some way to give that money to Corporate America.

I wish this were the joke it's supposed to be IAAJ, but they did give a big chunk of it to a Methodist organization (oh sorry I meant "faith based organization") and I am sure the government contracts for the rebuilding of New Orleans are going to be given out as effectively as the ones for the rebuilding of Iraq. (Cheney: Hello Haliburton, This is Santa and more Christmas is coming your way!!!)
posted by Skygazer at 8:29 AM on August 31, 2006


"The faith around here in a government that could actually work is as misguided as a christian's faith in god."

Hey! I resemble that remark! ...sorta. but still.. y'know.. Hey! I, uh, kinda resent that remark too! Yeah! ...I think. ...oh the hell with it. Where's a bodhi tree?
posted by ZachsMind at 8:52 AM on August 31, 2006


js003 , Thank's for posting this. A year ago while I was in Mississippi I read the report that 60 foreign nations had contributed relief aid to the US for the Katrina disaster. I wondered then why there was almost no media reporting of that assistance, and have been wondering since then what became of that aid. The total combined financial aid from the "non-Christian" countries was reported as several hundreds of millions of dollars.

There have been a number of stories with unreliable reports that aid from other countries was declined for various reasons. Supposedly the truckloads of supplies dispatched from Mexico within hours of Katrina's landfall were declined for dubious reasons.
posted by X4ster at 9:33 AM on August 31, 2006


Granted the bureaucratic mess is ridiculous, but also condsider that the total cash donations were $126 million. The administration, after much hemming and hawing, has pledged $110 billion by itself. The foreign aid amounts to about 0.1% of the total money that the gov't must allocate. So it may just not be high on their priority list.

(Not that I'm apologizing for their bungling of the $110 billion, the large majority of which still has not been allocated.)
posted by notswedish at 9:43 AM on August 31, 2006


"the large majority of which still has not been allocated"

They're still designing the bureaucracy to handle it.
posted by mischief at 9:53 AM on August 31, 2006


This sort of misuse of foreign aid is something that would be expected from petty third-world dictatorships, not from the most powerful free nation on earth.

That is exactly what I was thinking as I read the article. It is comparable to cases where charities drop food supplies to areas run by warlords, but the food never reaches those who need it because the warlords want the masses to starve-- starving people are easier to dominate.

The New York Times Sunday Magazine had a very dispiriting article a few weeks ago about how all the great rebuilding plans for New Orleans have just quietly evaporated. At the moment there is no plan and there are no funds-- just individuals trying to figure out how to make their homes inhabitable without any assistance from the government.

Bush's pledge for federal assistance to rebuild the city of New Orleans was --surprise!-- just empty rhetoric.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:14 AM on August 31, 2006


Two quick things America can do to improve both its internal and national standing:

1) Bring Hezbollah to NOLA for reconstruction (seriously)
2) Put Saddam back in charge of Iraq (seriously)
posted by bardic at 10:57 AM on August 31, 2006


I'm wondering, since I haven't gotten to this part of the law in my classes yet: a man gives you $100 and tells you to give it to someone "deserving." You pocket $95 for your costs in finding such a person, and then burn the remaining $5 when you decide that no such person exists or can be easily found. Are you guilty of anything? It's not breach of contract because gratuitous promises can't be enforced, but it smells like criminality to me.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:13 AM on August 31, 2006




what bardic said.

All this administration knows how & wants to do is spin, and enrich their cronies and themselves. The people hit by 4 hurricanes in Florida in 2004 were helped immediately and extensively.
posted by amberglow at 3:34 PM on August 31, 2006


It is plainly obvious that the American people have lost control of their government.

I hope y'all choose to elect better representatives for yourselves this fall. You guys have got to quit thinking on party lines, and start getting good people into office.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:53 PM on August 31, 2006


Perfect Storm for the Poor
posted by homunculus at 12:59 PM on September 2, 2006


Links like homunculus', above, are why I always vote for parties that are more concerned for social welfare than corporate welfare.

When half your impoverished are deeply impoverished — what'd the stat say, less than $9K a year for a family of four?! — in a nation that is otherwise so amazingly wealthy, there's something very wrong.

That the top one-fifth earn more than half the available income, while that bottom fifth are literally homeless and starving, is just the icing on the cake.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:26 PM on September 2, 2006


Even I, a non-Christian, can name Christian charities that actually do something besides pay people. You'd think those folks running the government who call themselves Christians would have heard of the same groups.

This is so embarassing. Everything about Katrina and the reponse to it is embarassing.

If we let those vicious, immoral people who hijacked the Republican party steal another election, I guess we deserve more Katrinas.
posted by QIbHom at 10:10 PM on September 2, 2006


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