After being criticized for not doing enough and not saying enough in the days that followed the Asian tsunami disaster, US President George W. Bush has launched a joint appeal for donations to help the victims. He was joined at a media conference by two ex-presidents: his father and Bill Clinton.
Washington was blasted for its initial 11 million euro aid commitment, which was later raised to 26 million, and then to 260 million. “We are here to ask our fellow citizens to join in a broad humanitarian relief effort,” said Bush. “We are working with the United Nations and with governments from around the world to co-ordinate a comprehensive international response.” The appeal comes as US Secretary of State Colin Powell starts a visit to the worst affected areas. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is also due to visit Indonesia later this week.