Magazine article The Crisis

What Happened to All That Katrina Money?

Magazine article The Crisis

What Happened to All That Katrina Money?

Article excerpt

(ProQuest Information and Learning: ... denotes obscured text omitted.)

... on Images of the ... New Orleans ... thousands of ... cans to open their hearts, homes and wallets to Gulf Coast hurricane survivors. They donated roughly $5.3 billion, largely through organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Way, according to the Giving USA Foundation, an organization that monitors charitable giving. Corporations and private foundations pitched in as well, with Wal-Mart in the lead among businesses ($17 million as of August 2006). The private Lilly Foundation was at the head of the pack of philanthropic groups, donating $30 million.

So with all that cash flowing south, why is the Gulf still in shambles?

These amounts, though substantial, were mere drops when compared to the scale of need in Gulf Coast communities. Most of these funds were spent on rescue and immediate disaster relief, including food, shelter, healthcare, transportation and emergency supplies.

"It's just hard for people to comprehend the magnitude, the scale, the complexity of the concurrent issues that had to be addressed," says Gregory Ben Johnson, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity that raises funds from donors and distributes the grants to local organizations.

Though the federal government has pumped $110.6 billion into Gulf Coast relief, recovery and rebuilding, it has also been the cause of so much chaos and confusion. Under the president's 2004 National Response Plan and the Stafford Act of 2000, it's the job of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate relief and recovery efforts among governmental and nongovernmental agencies. …

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