President Bush calls on Americans to donate directly to tsunami relief efforts, and has asked two former Presidents to help raise private funds. Mr. Bush said his father, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton will lead the nationwide drive. The two former presidents joined Mr. Bush at the White House for the announcement Monday.
Relief officials report Americans have already donated tens of millions of dollars. Private contributors to such organizations as Oxfam include children, corporations, and celebrities. Actress Sandra Bullock Monday donated one million dollars to the Red Cross. The U.S. government has promised 350-million dollars in aid to affected areas.
Washington's earlier, smaller pledges had drawn both domestic and international criticism. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday the current figure is adequate at this point. Mr. Powell is in Thailand, where he is leading a U.S. assessment team touring the region. The team will attend a donor conference in Jakarta, Indonesia Thursday.