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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 22:18 GMT 23:18 UK
World mobilises to aid US victims
A man receives water and ice at a distribution point in Biloxi, Mississippi
The US was considering dozens of offers of international assistance
More than 44 foreign governments and international organisations have offered aid to help with the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

Sri Lanka and Indonesia, who were recipients of US assistance after the tsunami, were among the list of potential donors.

Cuba and Venezuela put aside their differences with the Bush administration to offer assistance.

The US state department said all the offers were being examined.

Returning a favour

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela - a major oil exporting country - said he had offered to send cheap fuel.

The state department has not decided whether to accept it.

The United States is so often at the forefront of international aid efforts to help less fortunate nations
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer
Singapore sent Chinook helicopters following a request by the US to Fort Polk, Louisiana, to help to ferry supplies and undertake airlift missions.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wrote to President George Bush offering medical teams, saying they could be ready within 24 hours.

Sri Lanka said it was donating $25,000 (13,500) to the American Red Cross, while Japan has pledged $200,000 and Australia, $8m (4.3m), to the charity.

"The United States is so often at the forefront of international aid efforts to help less fortunate nations," Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said.

Developing nations, normally recipients of US aid, offered to become donors, such as Honduras, Guatemala and Jamaica.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), representing 26 countries, agreed to release the equivalent of two million barrels of oil per day from emergency reserves.

The extra supply is aimed at helping the markets deal more effectively with the disruption caused by Hurricane Katrina, said the IEA.


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