A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Saturday, September 10, 2005

That's a lot of money

AP: FEMA Has Paid $669M to Katrina Victims---
HOUSTON - The Federal Emergency Management Agency has paid $669 million nationwide to families affected by Hurricane Katrina, officials announced Saturday.

The agency has registered 573,262 households nationwide for benefits, agency spokesman Ed Conley said, explaining that the figure includes singles and families.
That's quite a lot of money. I hope it is used appropriately.

At the same time, Charities Urge Donors to Keep on Giving.

NEW YORK - Even with Congress earmarking billions of federal dollars for Hurricane Katrina relief, private charities are urging donors to keep on giving, contending their field operations remain crucial in meeting emergency needs and ensuring long-term aid to the worst-off victims.

Less than two weeks after the storm hit the Gulf Coast, private gifts have soared to nearly $700 million, a pace exceeding the response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The American Red Cross alone had received $503 million in gifts and pledges as of Friday, nearly equaling the $534 million collected for its Liberty Fund over two months following the Sept. 11 attacks.

Red Cross spokeswoman Sheila Graham said the organization hopes the gifts will keep pouring in; it expects to need more than $1 billion to provide emergency relief over the coming weeks for thousands of evacuees who have scattered among 675 of its shelters in 23 states.

Though Congress, after swift appropriations votes Thursday, has now allocated $62 billion for relief efforts, private charities say that money won't be deployed quickly enough to meet current emergency needs and may not meet all long-term needs.

"That money has been approved, but we're spending money right now," said Ross Fraser of America's Second Harvest, which has raised nearly $12 million and delivered more than 16 million pounds of food according to its Web site.

"We've never seen anything of this magnitude; all help from all sectors is going to be needed," said Shelley Borysiewicz of Catholic Charities USA, which has raised $7 million. "We don't want people to lose sight of the fact that this is going to take years of recovery, and we're going to be there to help the people who fall through the cracks."