U.S. receives foreign aid

Turkish Ambassador Namik Tan in Denver in June. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Turkish Ambassador Namik Tan in Denver in June. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Before fiscal cliff, before sequester, before debt ceiling,  before the craziness on the Hill —  the United States proudly sent billions of dollars a year abroad to help developing  countries.

And, despite all the trauma, we still do.

But  now it appears a bit of that money is trickling back. For example, Turkey’s Agency for Cooperation and Collaboration (TIKA)  — that country’s  Agency for International Development —  is giving a $200,000 grant to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, southeast of Portland.

The grant is to help build a water tank as part of an elementary school construction project and help folks out there “meet their water needs for the next 10 years,” according to an invite we got to a reception Tuesday evening at the residence of  our NATO ally Turkey’s ambassador, Namik Tan.

The reception is to celebrate the grant, the first ever to “an entity within the United States,” the invitation says. It also “highlights the dire development needs of America’s tribal lands.”

Not that other countries — the United Arab Emirates this year after the devastating Joplin, Mo. tornadoes, for one — haven’t extended help to Americans after a natural disaster. (And there’s that  free oil/propaganda stunt that Venezuela’s lefty government has been doing for low-income folks here in winter.)

And it should be noted that  Turkey and Native Americans have long felt a kinship based on feelings of a shared ancestry long, long ago.

But still. . .

Guess it’s time to find some worthy program out there to highlight  the dire development needs of the Kurds?

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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Emily Heil · November 10, 2013