One America Appeal: All five living former US presidents unite in fundraising plea for victims of Hurricane Irma and Harvey

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All five living former US presidents have joined together to appeal for donations for storm recovery efforts after devastating hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Parts of Texas and Louisiana were destroyed by catastrophic flooding in last month’s Hurricane Harvey while further along the coast Florida is bracing itself for deadly Hurricane Irma.

Irma, which was at one point the most powerful storm ever to hit the Atlantic, is set to hit the Florida coast on Sunday. Authorities have ordered 5.6 million people to flee their homes as a state of emergency was declared and Florida’s governor pleaded for volunteer nurses to come forward.

In a video appeal, former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and his father George HW Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter recorded messages urging people to donate to the newly-created One America Appeal.

George HW Bush, Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. (AP)

“Hurricane Harvey brought terrible destruction, but it also brought out the best in humanity,” ex-president Bill Clinton says as the video begins.

Barack Obama goes on: “As former presidents, we wanted to help our fellow Americans begin to recover.”

George W Bush, a former Texas governor who lives in Dallas, said: “People are hurting down here. But as one Texan put it, we’ve got more love in Texas than water.

Jimmy Carter, 92, who was president from 1977 to 1981, adds: “We love you, Texas.”

The appeal made clear online that any funds would also help Americans affected by the more recent storm Irma.

“What started as a specific appeal to address historic flood damage in Texas will be expanded to help victims from both storms,” details about the appeal read.

“The nature of that assistance will be dictated in large measure by the storm’s track and impact.”

Mr Trump tweeted his support, saying: “We will confront ANY challenge, no matter how strong the winds or high the water. I’m proud to stand with Presidents for OneAmericaAppeal.”

Harvey has caused widespread flooding in Houston and elsewhere and has been blamed for at least 71 deaths, while damaging more than 200,000 homes.

Texas governor Greg Abbott has suggested that Harvey’s damages could cost up to 180 billion dollars (£137bn), even more than from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Meanwhile Qatar has said it is giving 30 million dollars (£23m) to help people in Texas recover from Harvey, in what appears to be the largest donation by a foreign government following the hurricane.

It comes as Qatar works to show it is a supportive player on the world stage amid a diplomatic crisis with its neighbours.

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