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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

UAE donates Dh37m towards recovery efforts in Florida following Hurricane Irma

The UAE has a long track record of helping US communities in need after natural disasters

A mobile home park in Bonita Springs in Florida is flooded after Hurricane Irma sweeps through the state. Nicole Raucheisen / Naples Daily News via AP
A mobile home park in Bonita Springs in Florida is flooded after Hurricane Irma sweeps through the state. Nicole Raucheisen / Naples Daily News via AP

The UAE donated $10m to aid in recovery efforts in Florida after Hurricane Irma caused widespread destruction across the state.

UAE Ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, made the announcement after speaking with Florida Governor Rick Scott.

The money, almost Dh37m, will go toward rebuilding efforts in some of the most hard-hit parts of the state.

In the coming weeks, UAE Embassy officials will co-ordinate with the Florida Disaster Fund about specific relief and recovery efforts that the UAE gift will support. They will also discuss additional projects where UAE volunteers or assistance may be needed. Working together, the UAE’s gift will help those communities in Texas that felt the greatest impact and are in the greatest need.

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"The people of the UAE stand with the people of Florida who have been impacted by Hurricane Irma," said Ambassador Al Otaiba.

"We are inspired by the spirit and determination of all Floridians during this difficult time, and are confident that the areas most impacted by Irma will recover stronger than ever," he said.

"The UAE has long shared a strong partnership with Florida, and we are proud to help the state on its road to recover," said Governor Rick Scott.

"This donation will benefit families who are working to recover from Hurricane Irma. We appreciate this support to the Florida Disaster Fund."

Ambassador Al Otaiba said the UAE and Florida share a growing relationship, largely driven by trade and economic investment.

The UAE has a long track record of helping US communities in need after natural disasters.

UAE gifts and volunteer projects helped communities recover after Hurricane Katrina (2005) and Hurricane Sandy (2012). In addition, the UAE helped Joplin, Missouri rebuild in 2011 after one of the largest tornadoes ever recorded in the US devastated the community.

Most recently, it pledged $10m to the state of Texas for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and donated a further $10m to nations and territories in the Caribbean that were impacted by Hurricane Irma.

The strong ties between the UAE and US are deeply rooted in shared interests and common values. Together, the two countries are working to promote regional security, create economic prosperity, and address pressing global challenges.

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