IRC Honors Former Presidents Bush and Clinton for Tsunami, Katrina Relief Efforts
The International Rescue Committee has presented its Freedom Award to former Presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton for their extremely effective initiative to aid victims of the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Hurricane Katrina.
The award was presented at the IRC's annual benefit dinner Wednesday night, which was emceed by Tom Brokaw, co-chair of IRC Overseers. Akuot De Dut, a physician who came to the United States as a refugee from Sudan and who now is an IRC caseworker helping refugees resettle in Dallas, welcomed guests at the event.
In his acceptance address, President Clinton spoke of his admiration for the IRC and hailed the guests at the dinner for supporting its work, noting that governments will never have enough resources to address all humanitarian needs and that individual donors must step into the breach.
Former President Bush, who was traveling overseas, remarked in his videotaped acceptance that he had spoken at the IRC's 50th anniversary dinner in 1983. He said the organization has helped save and rebuild the lives of millions of refugees and displaced people the world over.
Terry George, the writer and director of the award-winning film Hotel Rwanda, received the IRC's Excellence in Media award for his efforts to raise awareness of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
The IRC gave its Corporate Responsibility Award to PepsiCo International chairman and chief executive officer Michael D. White for the philanthropic leadership that he and his company provide.
Video: Former President Clinton discusses tsunami relief efforts.