In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. declined, delayed or didn’t collect aid in the form of supplies, manpower and hundreds of millions of dollars from Israel, Canada and Britain. The Washington Post reports that the three countries offered $854 million, of which only $40 million has been used, according to State Department figures.
Allies offered $854 million in cash and in oil that was to be sold for cash. But only $40 million has been used so far for disaster victims or reconstruction, according to U.S. officials and contractors. Most of the aid went uncollected, including $400 million worth of oil. Some offers were withdrawn or redirected to private groups such as the Red Cross. The rest has been delayed by red tape and bureaucratic limits on how it can be spent.
In addition, valuable supplies and services—such as cellphone systems, medicine and cruise ships—were delayed or declined because the government could not handle them. In some cases, supplies were wasted.