Wednesday, August 31


I went into The United Nations site searching for any information today on U.N.-sponored, international relief efforts, forming or already underway, to bring medical teams and search & rescue personnel, supplies (including foodstuffs and portable shelters), and hard assets to the massive relief efforts underway in the Gulf Coast region of the United States, owing to the widespread Hurricane Katrina devastation.

Incredulously, I found that: 1) yesterday's U.N. daily news briefing made no mention of Hurricane Katrina, but did include what was termed a "flash appeal" for $88 million in aid for "acute food insecurity" in Malawi (I'm sure there's none of that in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama right now); 2) that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs doesn't appear to be dealing with the aftermath of Katrina at this juncture, but has expressed dismay that "Niger is dying while the world is watching" (New Orleans isn't exactly thriving at the moment, nor is Biloxi for that matter); but, 3) good news/bad news, I did find this for the Hurricane Katrina disaster -- i.e., "no data reported" and "no links at this time" for the largest natural disaster in the history of the United States of America.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is sympathetic, however.

Wonder if a "dues invoice" is sitting on President Bush's desk? Should he sign it?

POSTSCRIPT (8/31 @ 4:30PM CT): I just completed watching President Bush's sober address to the nation from the White House Rose Garden, following an emergency cabinet-level meeting, on how the federal government and its various agencies are dealing with the Hurricane Katrina disaster, and what their priorities will be. Not word one was given that the president had received any personal calls or messages from heads of state or Kofi Annan of the United Nations with offers or pledges of assistance to the United States. The president, of course, has just returned to the White House, but such messages could have been received at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, or onboard Air Force One. This is not to say that none have been forthcoming or that none will come in time; but, it is to say that this blogger continues to be unable to find reports of any such gestures from the international community of nations.