HOUSTON – Former Presidents George H.W. Bush (search) and Bill Clinton (search), who teamed up to raise money for the tsunami disaster in Asia, announced Monday the formal establishment of a Hurricane Katrina (search) relief fund.
The two ex-presidents will oversee The Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.
Bush, father of the current President George W. Bush, said they hope to raise millions of dollars for the Katrina effort. The storm devastated the Gulf Coast — hitting parts of Mississippi and Louisiana, including New Orleans, particularly hard. It will likely take years to rebuild the region.
Clinton said nothing they do would be an adequate response to the misery the hurricane dealt to southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Four months ago, Bush and Clinton announced that money they raised for tsunami (search) relief would help victims in four countries.
The Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund will operate out of the Reliant Center, which sits adjacent to the Astrodome. Both complexes and an arena at the site are home to 24,000 of Hurricane Katrina's refugees.
The money raised by the nationwide fund-raising campaign will go to the governors in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to assist with disaster relief and medical services.
The political odd couple first teamed up earlier this year to raise money for tsunami victims. The pair raised $11 million during that effort and President Bush asked his father and Clinton to pair up again for this crisis, former President Bush's spokesman Jim McGrath said Sunday.
"They saw how effective they could be on the local and national scale, and it made sense," he said.
Jay Carson, spokesman for The Clinton Foundation, said that the two former presidents were incredibly successful at raising tsunami relief funds and it made sense for them to come together again.
"Now we have a similar tragedy in our country and this team is back together to try and do that same good for those Americans who are suffering," Carson said.
The former presidents are starting off their second campaign with $15 million already contributed. McGrath said Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, has pledged the funds.
In May, Bush and Clinton met in Houston to announce the tsunami relief money they raised would go to help victims in four countries affected by the Indian Ocean's deadly tidal wave.