For Immediate Release
January 6, 2005
"As men and women across the devastated region begin to rebuild, we offer our sustained compassion and our generosity, and our assurance that America will be there to help." -- President Bush, 1/3/05
The United States is leading a massive international response to help tsunami victims, and has made an initial commitment of $350 million for disaster relief. This amount is supplemented by private donations, military assets, and contributions to come.
President Bush announced on Jan. 4 that former Presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush would lead a nationwide charitable fundraising effort to encourage private donations to the relief effort.
President Bush asked Secretary of State Powell, Florida Governor Bush, and a team of experts to visit the disaster areas to assess the damage. The delegation will then travel to Jakarta to meet with Indonesian President Yudhoyono, and today will attend a special Association of Southeast Asian Nations Conference there.
The U.S. military has responded by committing 13,000 troops to the relief effort. Other military contributions include water, food, medical supplies, aircraft, and support ships.
More than 135 USAID personnel are on the ground in Indonesia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, where they are prioritizing relief needs.