Americans gave a lot more and a lot faster to Katrina and Haiti than to Japan. American corporations? Well that's a different story.
One week after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan Americans have donated $105 million to disaster relief according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. That's far less than what we gave to relief in Haiti in 2010 and New Orleans after Katrina in 2005.
One sector of America though has been especially generous, and that's corporate America. APM's Marketplace reported on the swift speed of American companies to give to this crisis. Stacy Plamer, editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, confirms the appearance of speedy action from the business sector in an email to GOOD: "Anecdotally we’ve seen a much faster response from corporate donors to Japan, probably since many companies have offices in Japan, and are thus more personally affected by the disaster."
That doesn't make up for the rest of the population. The Chronicle reports that donors had given more than $457 million in the week after Katrina and more than $275 million in the first seven days after the quake in Haiti. Two-thirds of the money for Japan has been raised by the American Red Cross.
After each disaster the Chronicle surveys just about every disaster relief group for updates on an ongoing basis. They found that many of the groups are themselves not sure how to respond yet, or if they will because the Japanese government has a well developed infrastructure in place for disaster relief.
Image: U.S.Sailor hands MREs to Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldier. U.S. Navy Photo by Lt. Eric Quarlesr