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Bush Sending Business Leaders to Quake Areas in Pakistan


President Bush is sending a group of American business leaders to areas hit by the earthquake between Pakistan and India in an effort to raise more private donations to help those affected.

President Bush says the human toll from last month's earthquake is staggering, with more than three million people still homeless.

"As the harsh mountain winter approaches, millions of people in these affected areas will continue to need food, water, shelter, and medical care," said the president. "They will also need long term help to get their lives and communities back on their feet."

Along with the Pakistani government, President Bush says the United States is playing a leading role in addressing those needs by providing food, blankets, water, tents, and medical care. U.S. military helicopters helped rescue some of those in remote areas.

Mr. Bush says Washington has already set aside $156 million in relief and reconstruction funds, and he is asking the American people to contribute more.

Toward that end, he is sending a group of American business leaders to the area to see how aid operations are progressing and what additional help might be needed. On their return, Mr. Bush says the corporate executives will help raise more private contributions.

"When they come home from Pakistan, they are going to travel our country to rally our citizens to help the victims of this disaster," added President Bush. "I ask all of our citizens and businesses to contribute generously to this cause."

President Bush says the international response so far has been generous but the needs are still great. He is urging other governments and people in other lands to do what they can to help.

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