The funds form part of a larger $10 million relief pledge from the UAE to Texas to help the state recover from 2017's Hurricane Harvey
The American city of Houston is “extremely grateful” to the UAE for pledging millions to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, according to city mayor Sylvester Turner.
On Monday, the mayor and the UAE’s embassy in Washington DC announced that the UAE is granting $6.5 million to Greater Houston Community Foundation to help the city through homelessness relief, community revitalisation, library services and public health expansion efforts.
The gift forms part of a larger $10 million relief pledge from the UAE to the state of Texas following the hurricane.
“The UAE has long-standing ties to Houston and the state of Texas, and we are proud to help this great city,” said UAE Consul General Saeed Al Mehairi. “We hope these projects will lead to meaningful and measurable changes that improve people’s lives.”
Staff, clients of Avenue Center, right, helped me thank UAE Consul General Saeed Al Mehairi, left, and @UAEEmbassyUS offical Dana Al Marashi today for UAE's $6.5 million #HurricaneHarvey recovery gifts to the non-profit and other grassroots projects here. https://t.co/Z5qrCSrIWW pic.twitter.com/tckNUHOVf0— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) January 7, 2019
Of the funding, $2 million has been allocated to the city’s Homeless Navigation Center to create and operate a facility designed to increase short-term housing alternatives and boost the number of homeless people who receive permanent housing.
Another $2.6 million will go to the Avenue Training and Education Centre near the city’s Northside community. The funds will be used to construction a new permanent location for the centre, which will serve as a community resource hub, house an early education centre, provide post-disaster housing counselling, as well as an area for ‘general congregation’.
Other beneficiaries will include a local library that has been closed since it was damaged in the flooding, as well as a mobile health clinic and command centre.
“We are extremely grateful to Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, Consul General Al Mehairi and the people of the United Arab Emirates for this generous gift, the responsible way in which it will be managed the care taken to ensure that it will provide quality-of-life improvements to Houstonians at a grassroots level,” mayor Turner said.
Consul General Saeed Al Mehairi & #UAE Embassy representatives joined Mayor @SylvesterTurner to announce support for #HurricaneHarvey recovery projects that will support affected communities in #Houston. Learn more: https://t.co/SIsDNTdMHx @UAEinHouston pic.twitter.com/C2juaHYMtE— UAE Embassy US (@UAEEmbassyUS) January 8, 2019
“As Houston builds forward from the hurricane, we cherish our helpful partners such as the UAE,” he added.
American officials estimate that Hurricane Harvey inflicted $125 billion in damages, primarily in the Houston metropolitan area and parts of Southeast Texas. The figure is equal to that caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Additionally, over 100 fatalities were reported in various parts of Texas and Louisiana.