UAE gives $4.5m to hurricane-hit US schools

The UAE has donated $4.5m to help 30 schools in New Jersey hit by Hurricane Sandy, the storm that devastated America’s east coast last October.

The money will be used to pay for technology hardware, faster internet connections in schools, and computers for students and teachers. Around 20,000 pupils in nine public school districts will benefit from the upgrade.

“The entire world was touched by the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy last year. Given the scope of this disaster, we felt it was important to provide assistance,” UAE ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba said in a statement. “This programme will be a small piece to help dozens of schools and thousands of kids around New Jersey by repairing and upgrading schools that were hit by the storm.”

The money will be channeled through the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, a non-profit organisation chaired by Mary Pat Christie, the wife of the state governor. The fund has raised more than $38m from around 29,000 donors worldwide.

“Superstorm Sandy brought unprecedented destruction to New Jersey, including more than $40m in damages to our schools,” said New Jersey governor Chris Christie. “While our state has made great strides to re-open our schools, this donation will undoubtedly relieve some of the burden placed on New Jersey's hardest hit towns and help enhance our students' use of technology as they enjoy a normal return to school this fall.”

Hurricane Sandy caused more than 140 deaths and billions of dollars in damage when it struck the Caribbean and America’s east coast in late October. Thousands of homes were destroyed and millions more left without electricity.