Good news from Katrina:
The title is
shamelessly stolen from in homage of Chrenkoff, but the good news is plentiful:
US accepts nearly $1b in foreign aid
Fatma Al-Khalifa, director of the information office at the Kuwaiti Embassy, said her country donated a massive package of cash and crude oil — worth half a billion dollars — because Americans came to the tiny country’s aid during the first Gulf War.
More than 95 countries have come forward with offers, and so far 48 have been accepted. In addition to pledges from the oil-rich Middle East, donors also include some of the world’s poorest economies, including Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Djibouti.
The US government immediately accepted all cash donations, which are easy to process. So far, that amount totals about $350 million. The funds were being channeled to the State Department, USAID, and the initiative set up by Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush, Thomas said. Other countries opted to donate directly to the Red Crescent or the Red Cross.
The US government has also given the go-ahead for food aid from Thailand, medical supplies from Taiwan, baby clothes from Mexico, high-speed water pumps from Germany, first aid kits from Israel, and levee specialists from the Netherlands.
Other commitments have come from Armenia, Bahamas, Cyprus, Djibouti, Georgia, Hungary, the Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal and the Organization of American States, who are donating sums ranging from 5,000 to 100,000 dollars.
Azerbaijan, Australia, Bahrain, China, Gabon, India, Iraq, Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway and Saudi Arabia groups and Taiwan are down for half a million to 7.6 million dollars.
Belgium, Finland, France, Singapore, Thailand, and two U.N. organizations – the U.N. Disaster Assessment and Cooerdination Team and Logistics support, and the World Health Organization, are also sending teams, goods, and equipment to the disaster region.
Via Real Clear Politics:
The Los Angeles Times reports this morning on the hard heart of America: Donations
at $500 Million, and Climbing. Americans’ giving for hurricane relief dwarfs first week’s tallies for 9/11 and the tsunami:
Americans are opening their pocketbooks so fast and so wide in the wake of Hurricane Katrina that donations have already dwarfed the first week’s efforts to help victims of last year’s Asian tsunami and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
By Tuesday evening, U.S. charities had raised more than $500 million in cash and pledges — more than twice the $239 million donated in the 10 days after Sept. 11, and more than three times the $163 million raised in the nine days after the tsunami that hit countries along the Indian Ocean last Dec. 26.
In addition to individual donations, nearly every major city in America is welcoming evacuees from New Orleans with open arms providing shelter, food, medicine, opening space in schools and offering free tuition – doing anything and everything they can to give hurricane evacuees comfort, hope, and the semblance of a normal life. Here’s a small sampling from this morning’s papers:
Pittsburgh: City Ready to Take in Hurricane Katrina Evacuees
Philadelphia: Mobilizing effort: “Everybody just trying to help out.”
San Diego: Evacuees settling into temporary home
Minneapolis: Warm welcome, meal fill arrivals with hope
Phoenix: Evacuees rebuilding lives at shelter
Massachusetts: School officials scramble to make room, find supplies
Illinois: State prepares to host thousands of Katrina evacuees
Texas: State expecting up to 60,000 new students
Additionally, Sweetwater, Texas: Community stepping up to help victims
NATIONAL HOTLINE TO LOCATE MISSING HURRICANE VICTIMS ESTABLISHED The number is Katrina Missing Persons Hotline, 1-888-544-5475.
Katrina shelters offer haircut, laundry, handshake
If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss the slide show. There’s also Baldilocks’s very moving post on how people became reunited.
Last, but not least, a great article by Claudia Rosett: Flooded but Unbowed: America isn’t immune to natural disasters, but that doesn’t diminish its greatness
Update: Red Cross Web site reuniting thousands separated by storm
No sooner I posted this, that M. sent this article: Miss. Shipyard Toils to Resume Business
Another friend emailed this one by Kudlow (how could I have missed it?): Not That ’70s Show: In the wake of Katrina, the doomsayers once again are going to be proven wrong
In a week’s time, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port moved back to 75 percent capacity, as did the Colonial pipeline. Shell’s Capline system and the Plantation pipeline are almost back to capacity. These are remarkable achievements. Our energy companies should be praised by the public, not sullied by cheap-shot politicians. Widely predicted gas shortages never materialized during one of the biggest driving weekends of the year.
As for the GDP story, the near shutdown of the Louisiana and Mississippi economies in September may cause a loss of 1 percent growth in the third quarter. Instead of 3.5 percent growth, look for 2.5 percent and a temporary rise in the unemployment rate. But as the rebuilding and reconstruction proceed, growth should return to a solid 3 percent trendline — perhaps as early as the fourth quarter and certainly by next year’s first half.
Transportation in the Gulf Coast will be rerouted to Jacksonville, Florida, and points north. Energy slack will be picked up by Houston. Shipping and trade will swing over to the Port of Miami. Think market resiliency and flexibility coupled with economic incentives, and glued together by our remarkable information- and communications-technology systems. Even a temporary $100 billion economic loss will not stop American free enterprise from moving forward.
State and Local:
Montgomery group launches effort to aid storm victims. An aim to develop personal relationships through Operation Friend
Colleges mobilize to help hurricane-displaced students cope. Tulane University is closed, but other schools, including Princeton, offer help.
Volunteers: Help is on the way. Outpouring of support comes in form of time, donations
Cases of bottled water are being collected at New Jersey military armories, including the armory at 151 Eggerts Crossing Road in Lawrence, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. through Monday.
Got any good news? Post the link(s) in the comments section, and I’ll add them.
Update Read more good news on September 9