"From our own experiences, we know that nothing can take away the grief of those affected by tragedy. We also know that Americans have a history of rising to meet great humanitarian challenges and of
providing hope to suffering peoples. 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
President George W. Bush, January 3, 2005
Today's Presidential Action
Today, President Bush announced that he is seeking $950 million
as part of the supplemental request to support the rehabilitation
and reconstruction of areas devastated by the Indian Ocean
Tsunami and to cover the costs of the U.S. government's relief
efforts to date. This amount, which is part of the supplemental
appropriations request, is an expansion of his initial commitment
of $350 million and is based on the information available and the
assessments to date.
The President expressed the United States' deep and ongoing commitment to the tsunami victims. The United States was working to help these nations before the tsunami struck, and we remain committed to helping those affected by this terrible disaster
recover and rebuild.
The $950 million tsunami supplemental will include estimated
allocations for the following activities:
$339 million for reconstruction of infrastructure, such
as the construction of roads, schools, and water
$168 million to help victims transition back to their
communities, including food aid, shelter, housing
reconstruction, education, and programs that help victims
recover and get back to work;
A total of $35 million for early warning and disaster
mitigation efforts -- $23 million to improve the
international and U.S. tsunami early warning system, and
$12 million to enhance tsunami early warning and disaster
mitigation in the affected countries;
$62 million for good governance and technical assistance
for planning reconstruction activities and the costs of
U.S. government agency operations in the region; and
$346 million to replenish costs incurred by the United
States Agencies for International Development (USAID) and
the Defense Department for provision of immediate
The supplemental may fund debt deferment for tsunami
affected countries, if necessary.
Relief Efforts To Date:
To date, the United States has committed $350 million in
emergency relief assistance - which will be replenished
in the supplemental to enable the United States to
respond to future emergencies. This is in addition to
operational costs incurred by the Department of Defense.
Relief resources have been focused on emergency food
assistance, provision of relief supplies, shelter, water
and sanitation, health, education, cash for work,
livelihoods recovery, psychological and social support,
protecting women and children from human-trafficking,
logistics and coordination, and debris clean-up.
When the earthquake hit, USAID immediately worked to
mobilize staff to respond to the humanitarian needs in
the affected countries. At the height of the relief
effort, more than 150 USAID personnel, including Disaster
Assistance experts, were on the ground in Indonesia,
India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Maldives, and the
Seychelles conducting assessments of affected areas,
managing U.S. civilian response, participating in the
overall coordination of relief and reconstruction
activities, apprising funding requests, and recommending
appropriate U.S. Government relief efforts.
The United States, through USAID, has funded debris
clean-up and other community rehabilitation projects in the relief
phase benefiting more than 344,000 people through cash-for-work
projects and temporary shelter for more than 165,000 people in
Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India.
USAID has also funded water and sanitation activities in
the emergency phase benefiting more than 885,000 people in Indonesia,
Sri Lanka, India, and the Maldives.
USAID provided 21,220 metric tons for the first four months
of World Food Program (WFP) operations, contributing to WFP's
beneficiary total of 1.4 million tsunami victims.
The Defense Department brought into action military
assets to support relief operations in Thailand,
Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. The Defense
Department has been providing vital supplies and
logistics to the humanitarian effort since December 30.
At the height of the DOD humanitarian support activities,
there were nearly 16,000 U.S. military personnel in the region focused
on this effort.
There were 26 ships, 58 helicopters, and 43 fixed wing
DOD delivered over 10 million pounds of food and supplies
and provided well over 400,000 gallons of fresh water.
To date, DOD has treated almost 2,500 patients.
Other agencies have also contributed to the effort
including the State Department with diplomatic
coordination, the Department of Health and Human Services
by deploying technical health experts, the Department of
Agriculture with food aid, and the Treasury Department
through the efforts of the international financial
Former Presidents Bush and Clinton will visit
tsunami-affected countries of South and Southeast Asia,
including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the
Maldives in February 2005.
Estimates place the generous private-sector donations
towards the tsunami relief efforts at more than $700