The U.S. government says it has distributed nearly $690 million in direct aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it has distributed the money among more than 330,000 families displaced by the catastrophic storm.  The majority of the money ($551 million) has been handed out to 268,000 families in the hard-hit state of Louisiana.

Much of the money has been given out in the form of $2,000 grants. 

FEMA has been criticized for what many say was a slow response to Hurricane Katrina.  Michael Brown, the agency's director, was removed this week from heading relief operations in the Gulf Coast.

Some information for this story provided by Reuters.