German response to Katrina

Thanks to fellow Chicagoboy James for the link to this photo:


Normally I wouldn’t stress the German contribution that much, but after our Minister of the Environment angered so many people, I think it needs to be pointed out that he isn’t speaking for Germany and that the official reaction amounts to more than a nice telegram.

From Deutsche Welle

After initial hesitation, US officials on Sunday handed their German counterparts a “wish list” of emergency aid such as logistics experts, water purification plants and medical help for victims of hurricane Katrina.

William Timken, the new US ambassador to Germany, handed the list to German government officials during a meeting Sunday afternoon.

The list largely corresponds with help that had been offered by Germany: logistics experts, pumps, drinking water and water purification systems, generators, emergency shelters, blankets and medical help.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has also offered with vaccines, medical equipment and large quantities of aid packages.

William Timken thanked Germany for the willingness to help, including 25 tons of meals that have already been flown to the US. A first plane with 10 tons of food arrived on Saturday, while a second delivery was due to arrive in Pensacola, Florida at about 9 p.m. UTC.

Germany’s flying hospital, Medevac, which was used in the tsunami areas, is expected to arrive in the US on Monday, according to German public broadcaster NDR.

The plane comes with “a complete team of about 40 doctors and nurses,” Andreas Künkler, a German air force pilot who delivered the first shipment of aid to the US. “That’s what makes this plane unique in the world.”

There is also this, if requested:

In addition, a medical ship is in the Atlantic on its way to Egypt for an exercise but could be redirected anytime to the hurricane-stricken region.

10 thoughts on “German response to Katrina”

  1. Good to see indeed. I’ll take help from individual countries over the UN any day. Which begs the question, where are the disaster tourists? You’d think they’d have stepped up to claim credit by now.

  2. Ugh… spoke too soon. They have.

    “The United Nations has initially mobilized three inter-agency teams to work on logistics and coordination in conjunction with United States authorities”

    Coordination, that’ll help…

  3. Ralf, great to see. Cuba offered some help too:

    Cuba offered 1,100 doctors to help out with the relief effort after Hurricane Katrina, that could have been in place last Wednesday. The US State Department said “no thanks.” Sure, we could construe this as political manuevering on Castro’s part, but he has accepted US post-hurricane aid in the past few years, so that argument doesn’t hold much water. This is the same Castro who is dealing remarkably well with the huge loss of subsidy from the former USSR, and is on the cutting edge of adapting to a post-peak oil world. Is he a repressive and autocratic figure? Sure. Is he turning away a thousand desparately needed doctors because he thinks that politics take priority over the welfare of poor, black people? No, but the US government is.

  4. Yeah, Bush doesn’t care about black Americans but a dictator who imprisons black dissenters in his own country does. As an American I am grateful for assistance from our European and Latin American friends, but perhaps cynically proffered “aid” from quasi-enemies like Castro and Chavez falls under the category of “more trouble than it’s worth.”

    Maybe Bush should accept the Cuban offer on the condition that the Cuban doctors are accompanied by their families. Then we’d really see how generous Castro is.

  5. Seemed kind of neighborly to me:

    The Cuban government of President Fidel Castro offered in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation to send over 1,000 doctors and 36 tons of medicine and equipment to the disaster zone. After 10 days, the Bush administration has yet to even dignify the Cuban proposal—which has since swelled to more than 1,500 doctors, due to a flood of volunteers—with a reply.

    The offer involves real and badly needed aid that is quickly deployable. Cuba is nearer to the affected areas than Miami, barely an hour’s plane trip away, twice as close as New York. Moreover, the country’s doctors are internationally recognized as among the most experienced and qualified in emergency relief, having participated not only in responding to hurricanes in their own country, but in providing aid to disaster-stricken populations throughout the Americas, Africa and elsewhere.

    Cuban doctors are also among the best trained and most experienced in dealing with infectious diseases, including cholera, the first cases of which have been reported in the disaster area.

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