The Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund has announced grants totaling $90 million to institutions of higher education, regional and local faith-based organizations, and three states that are struggling to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
Grants announced in this initial round of funding include $30 million to institutions of higher education in the Gulf region for repairs, reconstruction, and replacement of equipment due to physical damage on campuses; to assist students who left school due to their school's closure and/or their need to relocate after the hurricane; and for salaries and benefits paid to retain and support faculty and staff who were/are not working because of school closures.
In addition, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton also announced a partnership between the fund and the United Negro College Fund on behalf of the historically black colleges and universities that were devastated by the hurricane. "These institutions need to re-establish themselves to give people hope that the foundations of their communities will be there now and in the future," said Clinton. "Colleges and universities not only train new workers but they are often the largest employers in their communities."
A grant of $20 million, to be administered by an executive committee of clergy, will support a ministerial partnership with local and regional faith-based organizations to address the needs of communities and congregations in the region. And an initial disbursement of $40 million will be divided among the relief and recovery funds established by the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to fill gaps and community needs unmet by local, state, and national relief and rebuilding efforts in those states.
In making the announcement, Bush and Clinton also announced that former Commerce Secretary Don Evans and former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman will serve as co-trustees of the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund and will guide it on their behalf. Herman is the current chairman and CEO of New Ventures. Evans is chairman of the Financial Services Forum. "Alexis and Don are outstanding public servants who continue to give to their country every day," said the two former presidents in a statement. "Helping us guide the fund is just another example of that service."