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Carole Mikita ReportingIn a dramatic turnabout, the United States is now on the receiving end of help from around the world as some two dozen countries offer post-hurricane assistance. With offers from the four corners of the globe pouring in, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says "no offer that can help alleviate the suffering of the people in the afflicted area will be refused".
From words of condolence to offers of donations, nations across the globe are offering a helping hand just like the US has done so many times before.
December 2004, what was once a beach paradise in Thailand was shattered within moments by a tsunami. Thousands of people were killed and more died in the coming days and weeks. The United States jumped into action, offering funds, supplies, relief workers, and military personnel to help repair damage caused by the waves and flooding.
August 2005, Hurricane Katrina crashes into the Gulf Coast, flooding cities, reducing businesses to rubble and stranding residents on rooftops. Soon after disaster struck, dozens of countries offered to help rebuild what Mother Nature had swept away.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is one of 22 international leaders reaching out to hurricane victims. Israel and Russia have offered boats, aircrafts, blankets, cash donations, and medical teams to federal leaders in Washington.
Russian President Vladamir Putin says President Bush turned down requests from his government. Instead, he turned to the American people and former Presidents Bush and Clinton to help refugees.
Pres. Bush: "In the days ahead, the former presidents will ask Americans to open their hearts and wallets to help those in need."
Even countries that have been criticized, ridiculed, or the focus of a call for assassination want to help. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez offered humanitarian aid and fuel while Saudi Arabia has promised to increase its oil production.
In a time when so many are left with so little, the international community is offering to play a role in America's recovery.
Several international corporations are also offering help for hurricane victims. Citgo Petroleum says it will donate one million dollars to hurricane aid. Wells Fargo gave one million dollars to the American Red Cross. The Red Cross also received one million from the Intel Corporation. Chevron is offering five million, and Citigroup donated three million. Other large companies are offering food and medical supplies.
The U-S Chamber of Commerce says corporate donations could total over 100 million.