The United States has accepted offers of nearly US$ 1 billion in assistance from some 95 countries in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, a senior State Department official said on Wednesday.
Other offers, while not rejected, remain in limbo while needs are evaluated. "The worst thing is to take things and let them sit on the ground and rot," said Harry K Thomas Jr, the department's executive secretary.
However, an offer from Iran of 20 million barrels of crude oil if US sanctions are lifted is being rejected because it is conditional, Thomas said at a news conference.
The State Department, in a summary of foreign assistance received or expected to be received, listed four countries as having made contributions that were accepted.
They were: India, $5 million in cash; South Korea, $30 million in cash and also supplies; Japan, $200,000 in cash, $844,000 in relief supplies, private donations of up to $1.5 million; Germany, MRE food packages, high-speed pumps and forensic experts.
In sifting through the offers from the four corners of the world "the greatest challenge is to match the generous offers with the needs of the American people," he said.