Monday, May 26, 2008

Compare & Contrast - Natural Disaster Edition

Compare, May 25, 2008:
The top US diplomat in Burma said that the United States was willing to provide more cyclone aid to the country, but only if the junta allowed foreign disaster experts in to assess the situation.

Speaking at an international donor conference in the main city Yangon, Shari Villarosa said the United States - one of Burma's most vocal critics - wanted outside experts to get full access to the disaster zone.
Contrast, April 29, 2007:
[US diplomats] knew the U.S. government was turning down many allies' offers of manpower, supplies and expertise worth untold millions of dollars [in the wake of Hurricane Katrina].


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 Some offers were withdrawn or redirected to private groups such as the Red Cross.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.

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