The United States government is accepting offers of assistance from countries around the world to help contain a runaway, deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico and clean up the spill which has pumped oil into the gulf for more than two months.
“The United States will accept 22 offers of assistance from 12 countries and international bodies, including two high speed skimmers and fire containment boom from Japan,” the State Department said June 29. “We are currently working out the particular modalities of delivering the offered assistance.”
Among the countries that have offered assistance are Belgium, Canada, China, France, Israel, Kenya, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.
While the federal government made the arrangement public during the week of June 28, State Department officials say foreign countries have been working with the U.S. government since early May.
“To be clear, the acceptance of international assistance we announced today did not mean to imply that international help was arriving only now,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, told the AP. “In fact, before today, there were 24 foreign vessels operating in the region and nine countries had provided boom, skimmers and other assistance.”
In addition to the countries offering assistance, the International Maritime Organization and the European-based Monitoring and Information Center are also offering technical assistance.
But the aid does not come as a humanitarian effort, according to the State Department—almost all of the countries and organizations expect to be paid for their services.