The Washington Post reports on growing donations by the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) to U.S. communities plagued by poverty or struck by natural catastrophes.
The article focuses on the Persian Gulf state’s aid to Joplin, Mo., after a tornado killed 161 people and wreaked a path of destruction through the town in 2011. After consulting with local officials about pressing needs, the UAE purchased MacBook laptops for all of Joplin’s nearly 2,200 high school students and is building a neonatal intensive-care unit at a hospital ravaged by the twister.
The UAE has also pledged $5-million each to post-Sandy rebuilding in New York and New Jersey and is constructing all-weather soccer fields in low-income neighborhoods in several major cities. The aid push grew out of diplomatic efforts to undo misperceptions about the country after congressional opposition scuttled a 2006 deal for a Dubai-based company to manage six U.S. ports.