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Qatar pledges $30 million to help Harvey victims in Texas

Harvey killed at least 70 people in a storm system that escalated into hurricane [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 September, 2017

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Qatar's ambassador to the US announced on Thursday his country will donate $30 million to help people in Texas recover from hurricane Harvey.
Qatar is donating $30 million to help people in Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey, its ambassador said on Thursday, as the Gulf nation works to show it's a constructive global player amid a diplomatic crisis with its neighbours.

The contribution appears to be the largest from a foreign government to assist with the hurricane that devastated stretches of the Texas coast.

It came the same day that the UAE, one of Qatar's opponents in the Gulf dispute, announced its own $10 million to help Harvey victims.

Both donations were announced as the leader of Kuwait, which has been mediating the Qatar crisis, was in Washington discussing the dispute with President Donald Trump and other American officials.

Qatar pledged the funds through the newly-created Qatar Harvey Fund, which Ambassador Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani said would work with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, local organisations and other Texas officials including the Houston mayor.

The funds will be used "to help rebuild communities" affected by flooding.

"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 in a statement that emphasised the gas-rich country's ties to Texas, including its consulate in Houston.

Abbott, the governor, said he was "amazed and humbled" at how people from around the world had shown support for Texas after the hurricane. Several other countries have offered far smaller amounts along with non-monetary assistance.

"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," Abbott said.

The Texas governor issued a similar statement earlier on Thursday praising the UAE for its donation.

Harvey killed at least 70 people in a storm system that escalated to a Category 4 hurricane before striking Texas last month, dropping 52 inches of rain over the Houston area. Abbott has said recovery could cost as much as $180 million.

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