From the daily press briefing of The US DoS, Sept. 1, 2005:
"MR. MCCORMACK: Good afternoon. I want to start with a brief update on a topic that I know is of interest to everybody here concerning Hurricane Katrina relief and relief efforts as well as on offers of foreign assistance. Let me start off by saying that we have received numerous and generous offers of assistance from foreign governments and foreign organizations. And Secretary Rice after consulting with the White House has made it clear that we will accept all offers of foreign assistance. Anything that can be of help to alleviate the difficult situation, the tragic situation, of the people of the area affected by Hurricane Katrina will be accepted.
I can run through a list, thus far. It's a list that's being constantly updated and growing really by the hour. We've received general offers of assistance, as well as some more specific offers of assistance from a number of different countries and organizations and includes: Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, the Organization of American States, Jamaica, NATO, Australia, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. I'll try to keep you updated as best we can on those lists. Like I said, it's growing literally by the hour.
Also, I wanted to update you on a few messages of sympathy and condolences have been coming in. These have been streaming in. I don't have a complete list of those right now, but it's been very heartening and very gratifying to receive these messages coming in as people around the globe see the tragic situation and the suffering of the people of the areas affected by this hurricane and the aftermath.
Secretary Rice has spoken personally, for example, with Foreign Minister Fischer of Germany just this morning. We received messages of sympathy and condolence from other countries like Israel and Japan as well and I can go on and on. I don't have a complete list right now. Secretary Rice is being briefed by staff that is with her on a regular basis. She's in contact with -- back here in the Department with Under Secretary Burns who is quarterbacking our efforts here at the Department, making sure that the Department is working closely with foreign governments, as well as the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.
Secretary Rice spoke with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff this morning. She made it clear that the State Department is going to be working closely and in support of the Department of Homeland Security in their efforts. And really, that's all I have at the moment. I just wanted to open up because I knew that this is an interest -- some of you took interest in.
QUESTION: From what you know, are there any specifics, particularly graphic specifics or significant specifics, you can provide on Country X offering Item Y? Anything you could do to illustrate the generosity and the effort?
MR. MCCORMACK: Let me make one point before -- I'll try to give you some examples of the types of things that countries have offered. The process that's happening here is we are, here at the Department of State, receiving offers of foreign assistance from overseas. Embassies here in Washington contact us or foreign governments are contacting our embassies, and those requests are funneled back here to Washington. We then immediately pass those along to FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. The process then is Homeland Security and FEMA look at what the offers are, what the capabilities of those foreign countries are, those foreign organizations, and trying to match those up against needs. And so that's the process that's going on now. And Homeland Security and FEMA have the lead on that but we're working closely with them.
Let me give you a few examples of the types of things that have been offered: boats, aircraft, tents, blankets, generators, cash assistance, an offer of assistance from Venezuela through Citgo, which is a U.S. subsidiary of the Venezuelan Government National Oil Company.
QUESTION: And they offered oil? That's what I was asking about yesterday.
MR. MCCORMACK: Right. And you asked me -- you asked about that, yes.
What other types of offers? Offers of medical teams, offers of assistance in helping to restore electrical power expertise. So those are -- that's a sort of rough summary of the types of aid that has been offered."State Department Press Briefing
update: The list of countries/organizations now includes, but is not limited to:
Australia, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belgium, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, the European Union, France, Germany, Guatemala, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, NATO, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Organization of American States, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization.
And in her Sept. 2, 2005 briefing
, Rice said:
I want to note in particular that we received a generous offer of support from Sri Lanka, a country that, as we speak, is still recovering from its own massive natural disaster."
she also added:
"Recently, we have seen the American people respond generously to help others around the globe during their times of distress, such as during the recent tsunami. Today, we are seeing a similar urgent, warm and compassionate reaction from the international community in response to Katrina."
We gonna hear an apology or wha'?