The following is an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government:
Aid continues to the survivors of the earthquake-induced tsunamis, or tidal waves, that struck twelve countries along the Indian Ocean. The United States has made an initial commitment of three-hundred-fifty million-dollars for disaster relief. This amount is being supplemented by more than two-hundred-million dollars pledged by American corporations and individuals.
In Washington state, children sold hot chocolate by the side of the road to give the profits to tsunami relief. Some U.S. professional basketball players pledged to donate a thousand dollars to UNICEF for every point they score in a game. Churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other religious institutions are taking up special collections for the tsunami disaster survivors.
Other countries are responding as well. In recent days, Kuwait has raised its pledge of relief funds to about ten-million dollars. Canada doubled its commitment to more than sixty-million dollars, and says it will impose an immediate debt moratorium for tsunami-affected countries. Britain has pledged about ninety-five-million dollars, and South Korea says it will increase its assistance to about fifty-million dollars over three years.
President George W. Bush says that, "The world has united behind this urgent cause, and the United States is taking a leading role":
"We're working with other governments, relief organizations, and the United Nations to coordinate a swift and effective international response. We are rushing food, medicine, and other vital supplies to the region. And we are focusing efforts on helping the women and children who need special attention, including protection from the evil of human trafficking."
This is a time of grief for so many people who survived the tsunamis," said President Bush. "We think especially of the children who have been lost, and the survivors searching for their families," he said. "And we offer our sustained compassion and generosity as the people of the devastated region begin to rebuild."