Two Arab nations are once again showing their generosity
The United Arab Emirates and Qatar have pledged a combined total of $40 million in aid to assist in relief efforts following a devastating hurricane that hit Texas last month.
Qatar's ambassador to the U.S. announced Thursday that his country would provide $30 million to help the people of Texas recover from the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. According to ABC, this appears to be the largest aid contribution from a foreign government following the crisis.
Prior to Qatar's announcement, the UAE – which currently is blockading Qatar diplomatically and economically – announced $10 million in assistance in the wake of the hurricane.
Doha's ambassador to the U.S., Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, said his emirate has created the Qatar Harvey Fund to manage aid delivery.
"Texans are stronger than any storm and will come back bigger and better, and Qatar stands ready to help our friends at every turn," Al Thani said, emphasizing his nation's ties specifically to the state, including a consulate office in the heavily damaged city of Houston.
The UAE's ambassador also voiced his country's strong solidarity with the people of Texas.
"The people of the UAE stand with Texans who have been impacted by this disastrous storm," Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba said.
"The resilience and resourcefulness shown by the people of Texas as they begin the long recovery and rebuilding process is an inspiration for everyone," he said.
The governor of Texas expressed his immense appreciation for Qatar's contribution, saying he was personally "amazed and humbled."
"Texas and Qatar have a longstanding partnership, and I thank the government of Qatar for their generosity and support for Texas and our citizens as we begin the long road to recovery," Gov. Greg Abbott said.
At least 70 people died as a result of Hurricane Harvey, which struck Texas last month. The category 4 storm also left what Gov. Abbot estimates to be some $180 million in damages.
Qatar's ties to Texas run deep. The emirate opened its consulate in Houston back in 1997 and some 450 Qataris reside in the state. Doha also hosts a satellite branch of the highly-ranked Texas A&M University.
This also isn't the first time that Qatar has shown its generosity following a devastating hurricane in the U.S. After the massive destruction cased by Hurricane Katrina, mainly in the state of Louisiana, Qatar contributed $100 million in aid.
The massive donation contributed met the state's education, housing and healthcare needs in the wake of the crisis.