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Foreign aid for Hurricane Katrina dismal?

The United States has a long history of helping lesser countries when they are down on their luck. Whenever there is a disaster in the world, there we are giving a helping hand. We are the go to guy whenever a country needs serious help.

Consider the following:

  1. In 2004, the United States Federal government gave $18.9 billion in humanitarian financial aid.
  2. In 2004, Japan the second largest governmental donator, gave only $8.8 billion(USD); less than half the amount given by the United States
  3. According to the American Association of Fundraising Counsel’s Trust for Philanthropy in Indianapolis, private American citizens gave an estimated $240.92 billion in gifts equalling 2.3 percent of US gross domestic product, to charities of all types.
  4. The United States has spent trillions on the defense of Western Europe, Canada, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and the Middle East, without ever asking for anything in payment other than friendship.
  5. American inventions and ingenuity have given the world the ability to feed more people than in any time in history.
  6. American technology has given the world the means to communicate in ways that would make the greatest king of yore insane with jealousy.

America has given the world so much in last two hundred years, yet has asked for so little in return. Yet here it is several days after the worst natural disaster in modern American history and the only news report I have seen from other countries is one from the BBC. In it Her Majesty, The Queen of England, sends her condolences. Condolences? Thanks Liz, but how about some cash from your fellow Europeans or Japan? Hey Canada, how about some bottled water? The silence is deafening!

The world always has their collective hands out to the USA, least we come a runnin’, they get mighty upset. Take for example the Tsunami disaster in Indonesia. The Norwegian Ambassador to the UN, Jan Egeland, called President Bush a cheapskate for not coughing up money fast enough. Funny thing that we haven’t heard from of good ole Jan Jan the Norwegian Man of late?

Written by John Bill, founder of independent think tank the Jmaximus Institute of Freedom.

About John Bill

  • Silken

    Well first off there were some pretty harsh criticisms here and many were based on wrong facts. I think by now we’ve established that at least 90 countries have offered aid to the U.S. and I hope that some of the people who were so harsh will have reconsidered their statements in light of the facts.

    I myself am Canadian. My country’s population is only one tenth of that of the U.S. but we are doing our best to help, just as we did when we helped get the hostages out of Iran back in the 80s and just as we did during 911 and other times when tragedy struck in the U.S.

    Today I read that Alberta alone(which is only one province in Canada)has contributed $5 million to help reconstruct the Gulf area. This is in addition to contributions from other Canadian provinces and from our federal govt. as well as from corporations and individuals in Canada. Even one of our successful industrialists here chartered a plane to fly in supplies to Louisiana and is now planning on building a mobile home community in a luxury area of Florida to house about 1,000 of the displaced residents from Louisiana, with plans to possibly build even more. This is all at his own expense!

    I also just read the other day an article done in Louisiana about how the Vancouver Search and Rescue Team was in their saving American lives 5 days before the U.S. army even arrived. This team chartered a plane to fly down there to help and stayed for five days until the U.S. teams arrived and took over. One of the local fire chiefs was so grateful for their assistance in being the first search and rescue time on-site (and I mean FIRST, not just the first foreign team) that he insisted they raise the Canadian flag on his fire hall (which was mostly submerged but still had the flagpole above water!) ;)

    The Province of Quebec has sent down 20,000 cots out of its emergency stores. Countless numbers of municipal, provincial and the federal govt. in Canada have either sent or offered medical supplies, search and rescue teams, medical personnel, etc. etc. in addition to their financial contributions. Canada has already sent drug supplies to treat the sick and injured as well as many other kinds of supplies out of our own national stockpile for emergencies.

    I can’t even begin to count all the aid that Canada has either already sent or offered to send. I’m sure you all have read about the navy ships, divers and 1,000 navy personnel already on their way to Louisiana, loaded down with supplies, water filtration equipment, etc. etc. and set to arrive on Sunday (would’ve been sooner if the U.S. govt. had responded sooner…) or the Coast Guard personnel who are helping out in the Boston area so that they can free up their staff to go and help in Lousiana.

    On top of all of this, I know personally Canadians whose companies are sending them down to the Gulf to donate their services to rebuild/restore the electrical systems, water systems, etc. etc. I know because my brother-in-law’s company is already sending a team down there and will have them working around the clock in that area for approx. 3 months or more. These men are leaving their families and volunteering for these assignments because they want to help our American friends in their time of need.

    I’ve always told my friends from other countries that Canada and the U.S. are like siblings… they piss us off sometimes but we still love them like a brother. We may not always agree on the political front and I know that causes some hard feelings at times but I know for sure that we feel a bond to them forged from sharing the same continent and the same early historical roots and for many of us, the same language. There really isn’t any other country in the world that is so close to my own country that I can spend time there and feel pretty much at home even though we are not identical. Quite plainly, I think the world would be a much lonelier place for Canadians without our American friends and neighbours who although they sometimes make us mad, often do make us glad and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. ;)


  • CDNNavyWife

    Egads! Now we’re into penny pinching. Lack of aid in the wake of Katrina’s Aftermath. If I’m not mistaken, but wasn’t it your President who said it was “unnecessary” (for the lack of better words) for the World Community to send aid?

    “I’m not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn’t asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country’s going to rise up and take care of it. You know, we would love help, but we’re going to take care of our own business as well, and there’s no doubt in my mind we’ll succeed. And there’s no doubt in my mind, as I sit here talking to you, that New Orleans is going to rise up again as a great city. ”
    Here’s a little news flash for you. Even though it took some time Prime Minister Paul Martin announced that Canada would be sending to the victims/survivors of the Gulf States. And even though the Canadians’ role would be unclear be in Operation UNISON until the convoy arrives to help by any means possible.

    Now I’m a little puzzled and a little insulted by your remarks (“America has given the world so much in last two hundred years, yet has asked for so little in return”). But to throw around price tags of how much money the American Gov’t have spent to help the world and your insinuation that there’s little or no help in return. The whole point of sending humanitarian aid is to help, which doesn’t necessarily mean sending “cash dollars.” Aid also into account sending supplies – the basic necessities that are most badly needed in times of crisis.

    Since it was announced that the ships would be sailing for the Gulf region, here is what my husband along with the rest of his crewmates that stored on board HMCS Athabaskan, as well as HMCS Toronto, HMCS/NCSM Ville De Quebec in less 48 hours:

    1,500 cots and sleeping bags
    2,000 blankets
    3,000 coveralls
    300 tents that can house
    1,800 people
    6,000 diapers
    Palettes of lumber for reconstruction
    36 generators, water pumps, medical supplies
    300 donated hand-knit teddy bears
    About 1,000 body bags.

    This don’t encludes what CCGS Sir William Alexander is presently carrying, not to mention what DART will be providing as someone already mentioned (

    And on the home front, my children have donated money via their school as well through local establishments. They (my children) know what has happened and that there are many hundred of thousands of people displaced from their homes and many more have lots their lives because of this tragedy. Not to mention that they take pride knowing that their father is contributing to the clean-up and aid of the people in need. A personal note, I’ve had friends on and offline that wrote giving me thanks because the individuals like my husband have gone to the Gulf States to lean what support they can.

    Quite frankly Sir, I really don’t care for your attitude and tone, but that is just my opinion. If you don’t like how slow things are moving with the humanitarian aid and clean-up here’s my suggestion to you. Get off you lazy rear whether it be from your cushy 9 to 5 job or Modern Liberal Arts University/College classes and take a trip down to Biloxi or New Orleans and help rebuild instead of flapping your gums.

  • Eric

    I’m not surprised to read such ‘article’ but I’m still surprised to see people thinking that way : we are the best, we have done more than anything else, we are number one, the others are shit and have done/achieved/given nothing or so little.
    Some may find it amusing. I find that quite sad. Living and thinking that way must be quite depressing after a while.

    Some info the author of the post may read with profit :

    I’m from France/Europe.

  • me

    This report is highly inaccurate. Not only have many foreign countries offered aid, but the U.S. could give a crap about foreign aid. It contributes far less money to foreign aid than the majority of the developed world, spending only .1% of its enourmous budget on foreign aid. We spend most of our money on defense, more than anyone else in the world. The next sixteen countries under us combined spend as much as we do on defense.

  • blahagablog

    Of course the world always likes to state that the United states spends more money on military arms than many countries yearly GDP.
    But lets also find out the truth to these numbers,what is known that in the year 2001 the United states was the main supplier of 45.8% of the worlds purchases of weapons arms.
    That is $26.4 billion in foreign sales to secure Sovereign nations from invasion.
    $24 billion additionally was spent for foreign aid.
    The vast majority of the arms sales are on loans,and are often nearly forgotten,or forgiven.
    As an example in many world crises whereas the U.S may need help by a foreign nation negotiations take place durring such negotiations the party that the U.S is attempting to get help from brings to the table what else are we getting?
    This many times mean never having to pay there billions of dollars of debt to the United States,and payment of additional monies to that government.
    So those billions are lost forever,foreign governments benefit twice,and the poor American tax payer thats working more hour’s in which has less paid vacation time than any other country in the world.
    Yup thats a fact,as many American’s dont even take their full yearly vacation times,usually cashing them out for pay and having to pay tax for not vacationing.
    Many Americans today being aware of border security problems with Mexico,are taking their vacation while doing U.S border patrol.
    Americans are innovative,forgiving,helping,and overall are the most generouse people on the face of this earth,and why?
    Because we are Europeans,French,Canadian,Jewish,Arab,and all other nationalities.
    A recent poll taken in Mexico revealed that 74% of Mexicans beleive that the U.S stole New Mexico,this comes from the majority of Mexicans whom are Spanish descendants,whom with Ponce de Leon slaughtered the natives of Mexico,and wiped out the Indians,the Spaniards werent happy with the gold they were given by the Indians,so they just stole it all smelted it down coined the gold into doubloons,and spanish marked gold bars to present a fictituose slew of ethics the loot theyd stole when shipped back to Spain.
    Sure they later won their independance from Spain cinco de mayo but they are still nevertheless Spanish descendants.

  • Markus Stra

    First of all,

    The U.S. is NOT the biggest aid donater of the world. There are a load of a lot smaller countries in Western Europe who give even more aid as the U.S. does. And if you compare the total aid donated by ALL the European Union countries, it totally crushes what the U.S. gives.

    Secondly, almost all the important technological inventions are done by Europeans. Computers, television, cars, telephones, refrigerators, aircrafts, trains, camera’s and more… I know that most Americans think that America is the almighty inventor of the world but look up the facts and show a little more respect to other countries.

    And third, the reason why America turned down foreign aid is because of the 2 above reasons combined; it has an arrogance problem. America wants to keep maintaining the big “we are the best and greatest country in the world” lie…