HIGHLANDS, N.J. (AP) — The United Arab Emirates embassy to the United States has donated $4.5 million to help some New Jersey schools impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
The embassy contributed the money to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, a charity founded by Gov. Chris Christie’s wife, Mary Pat. The Christies and the UAE ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, made the announcement Monday morning at Highlands Elementary School.
The gift was made on behalf of UAE citizens.
“This is something that’s in our DNA,” Al Otaiba said in an interview. “When a country faces an emergency or a disaster, we want to respond to what their needs are.”
The country has donated $2.8 billion after disasters in 28 countries, Al Otaiba said. Among them were Hurricane Katrina and the Joplin, Mo., tornadoes.
The donation to the New Jersey relief fund will help repair computer and technological equipment at 30 New Jersey schools that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
“The kids who will benefit from this for years to come will have their friends in the UAE to thank for it,” Chris Christie said.
Mary Pat Christie has said the relief fund is designed to help people with needs not covered by government aid or insurance. About $38 million has so far been donated to the fund, including a $1 million donation from rocker Jon Bon Jovi last week.
The UAE embassy also promised to help New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo rebuild after the storm.
“Everyone is your friend when things are going well.” Al Otaiba said. “But you really find out your friends in crisis.”
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)