Sep 11, 2017

Fewer countries offer aid after Harvey than after Katrina

Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey (left) and Hurricane Katrina (right). Photos: AP

Days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005, more than 150 foreign countries, rich and poor, began to pledge donations of money and resources to the victims of the storm. But the international response to Harvey has been comparatively scarce. These are the countries that stepped up to offer aid within two weeks of each of the landmark natural disasters.

Hurricane Katrina
  • Afghanistan pledged $100,000 to victims
  • Australia donated $7.5 million to the American Red Cross
  • Bangladesh gave $1 million and offered to send rescue workers
  • Canada prepared to send ships, helicopters and 1,000 helpers
  • China pledged $5 million in addition to 1,000 tents and 600 generators
  • France offered tents, beds, generators and rescue teams from the Antilles
  • India donated $5 million to the American Red Cross
  • Japan offered $500,000 in aid and supplies
  • Nigeria pledged $1 million in aid
  • Mexico offered $1 million in aid in addition to 15 trucks full of food, drinking water and medical supplies
  • Qatar made an offer of $100 million in aid
  • Dozens more, including Singapore, South Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia offered help
Hurricane Harvey

Worth noting: The vast majority of foreign Katrina aid was untouched, either unclaimed by the U.S. government or unused after it was received, per the Government Accountability Office. The U.S. collected $115 million of the $850 million that was pledged in foreign aid and spent $45 million of it.

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