Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has joined the chorus of Americans criticizing the response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
As water levels slowly begin to fall in New Orleans, Powell said there had been failures at local, state and federal level.
His comments come as a new opinion poll found 67 per cent of Americans thought the president could have done more to speed up relief efforts.
George W. Bush however is assuring survivors that their needs will be met.
“The government is going to be with you for the long haul,” he said.
“In all the steps we take, our goal is not to simply provide benefits, but to make them easy and as simple as possible to collect.”
Congress has approved fresh emergency aid worth over 40 billion euros and relief supplies are now pouring in from around the world, including the United States’ southern neighbour Mexico.
And in the wake of a catastrophe that has killed hundreds, and possibly thousands, NATO has given the order for alliance ships and aircraft to help deliver European aid.