When shocking scenes of devastation unfolded on television screens last August, the world was incredulous that the sole superpower could get its own crisis so very wrong. Relief offers poured in from abroad. China chipped in $5 million. Tiny Brunei gave $1 million. Even countries with little to give dug deep. Bangladesh sent $1 million, Rwanda wired $100,000, and Afghanistan coughed up $99,800. The United Arab Emirates was the biggest donor, doling out more than $99 million. By year’s end, the U.S. State Department had received $126 million from 36 countries and international organizations. (Other countries, such as Canada, India, Kuwait, and Turkey chose to donate directly to the American Red Cross or the Bush-Clinton Hurricane Katrina Fund.)
The donated cash met a different fate. 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.
No no its Ray Nagin fault ain't it?