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US Accepts German Help After Katrina

DW staff (win)
September 4, 2005

After initial hesitation, US officials on Sunday handed their German counterparts a "wish list" of emergency aid such as logistics experts, water purification plants and medical help for victims of hurricane Katrina.

German mobile medical centers can now be sent to the USImage: AP

William Timken, the new US ambassador to Germany, handed the list to German government officials during a meeting Sunday afternoon.

The list largely corresponds with help that had been offered by Germany: logistics experts, pumps, drinking water and water purification systems, generators, emergency shelters, blankets and medical help.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has also offered with vaccines, medical equipment and large quantities of aid packages.

William Robert, wahrscheinlich der neue US-Botschafter für Deutschland
William TimkenImage: AP

Timken (photo) thanked Germany for the willingness to help, including 25 tons of meals that have already been flown to the US. A first plane with 10 tons of food arrived on Saturday, while a second delivery was due to arrive in Pensacola, Florida at about 9 p.m. UTC.

Timken also thanked the German Red Cross for its support -- the national chapter plans to send seven experts to the disaster region to aid American Red Cross workers.

US also asks EU, NATO for help

MedEvac A 310 MRT
US officials were hesitant about a German military plane bringing aid to the USImage: Bundeswehr

US officials also asked the European Union and NATO for help. According to EU officials, US government representatives have asked for first aid kits, blankets, water trucks and 500,000 prepared meals.

"We are and have been ready to contribute to the US efforts aimed at alleviating the humanitarian crisis in New Orleans," EU Environmental Commissioner Stavros Dimas said in a statement, according to Reuters news service.

The EU's British presidency will now coordinate the aid shipments.

Officials for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) also said they had been asked by the US to send food supplies.

Flying hospital due on Monday

Die ersten Verwundeten
The plane is usually used to transport injured soldiersImage: AP

Germany's flying hospital, Medevac, which was used in the tsunami areas, is expected to arrive in the US on Monday, according to German public broadcaster NDR.

The plane comes with "a complete team of about 40 doctors and nurses," Andreas Künkler, a German air force pilot who delivered the first shipment of aid to the US. "That's what makes this plane unique in the world."