…also at orange
It seems our great national embarrassment, the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, is the gift that just keeps on giving.
In the confused days following the storm, one of the little-known acts of generosity that came from overseas was the Qatari Relief Fund.
It got a little attention at the time, but not very much; after all it really didn’t play into the desired spin coming out of DC.
For more than two years, that $100 million from Qatar has sustained the bulk of the individual casework necessary to navigate the bottlenecked social services on the gulf. In both Louisiana and Mississippi, the gruntwork of intake, case management, and application procedures for everything from rebuilding grants, to insurance claims, to healthcare and educational needs has in large part been covered by the Qatari fund.
But that’s not the embarrassing part. This is:
the Qatari money finally runs out this month and the federal government is refusing to pick up the bill.
What does this mean? It means the waiting lists will get longer, the red tape will get thicker, the sick will get sicker. It means, for all practical purposes, the go-slow recovery will go even slower.
The triage has already begun: A third of the caseworkers in Mississippi will lose their jobs at the end of the month.
Call your Congressfolk. Tell them you’re embarrassed. Tell them you’re ashamed. Tell them to get off their butts.
And while you’re waiting, send a few bucks to Finish The Job