Helping a Friend in Need
As an ally and close friend, the United Arab Emirates provides assistance when United States communities are devastated by natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Aiding recovery and reconstruction efforts is consistent with the UAE’s long-standing track record of philanthropy and charitable assistance. Members of the UAE’s social volunteering program, Takatof, have also visited numerous US communities after natural disasters, partnering with Habitat for Humanity or other local housing-assistance organizations to help with rebuilding efforts.
Following Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, which brought unprecedented flooding and destruction to communities across southeast Texas, the UAE government pledged $10 million to help with local and state recovery efforts. UAE Embassy officials are coordinating with state and local leaders about specific relief and recovery efforts that the UAE gift will support. “In times like these, friends help each other, and the UAE is committed to helping Houston and other communities rebuild,” said UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba.
The UAE government provided $100 million in aid following Hurricane Katrina for immediate disaster- relief efforts. In 2012, the UAE provided a significant grant to assist with the reconstruction and recovery efforts of communities that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey. Through the New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, 30 schools across nine districts that were impacted by the superstorm received funds to repair and improve their infrastructure.
After one of the largest tornadoes ever devastated Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011, UAE officials, who had seen the disaster on international news broadcasts, rushed to help. To help Joplin recover after the tornado destroyed the town’s only public high school and a hospital, the UAE provided laptops to almost 2,200 high school students so classes could resume in August. A grant to Mercy Hospital Joplin also funded the construction of a pediatric care wing in the new building.