Former U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton announce grants from Katrina fund

Former Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton announced $90 million (Ђ77 million) worth of grants from the money they've raised to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina. Higher education institutions along the Gulf Coast will receive $30 million (Ђ25.6 million). Another $40 million (Ђ34.2 million) will be divided among the three states hardest hit, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and $20 million (Ђ17.1 million) will go to faith-based organizations. Bush and Clinton have raised about $110 million (Ђ94 million) so far. "Donations we got ranged from the smallest, $16 from a child's lemonade stand, to multimillion-dollar ones from foundations and corporations," Clinton told an audience of about 400 on the grounds of the University of New Orleans library on Wednesday. "Even foreign governments have given us money to help you begin again."

Bush used the 64th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to exhort the hurricane-hit Gulf Coast to summon the strength to rebuild. "America proved then what we have proved time and again since then: We're strong, we are resourceful, we are determined and working together we're going to prove it again, you're going to prove it again on the Gulf Coast," he said.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco compared Bush and Clinton to the biblical wise men for "bringing gifts of money." She said the grants "will provide a significant down payment for our recovery,” reports the AP. I.L.

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