UAE Katrina Donation

From Scout:


WASHINGTON — The United Arab Emirates gave the Bush administration $100 million to help victims of Hurricane Katrina weeks before a state-owned company there sought U.S. approval for its ports deal.

The White House said Thursday the $100 million for storm victims demonstrates the relationship between the two governments caught in a firestorm over the potential security risks of state-owned Dubai Ports World running significant operations at six major U.S. ports.

The administration said the request for U.S. approval of the $6.8 billion ports deal and the UAE contribution were not related.


The money from the UAE was previously described by the State Department only as a “very large” contribution. The White House said so far it has received $126 million in international donations, including the UAE money.


The United Arab Emirates sent its $100 million Katrina donation on Sept. 21 using an electronic transfer to an account at the State Department, the White House said. Two-thirds of the money was given to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help coordinate aid to 100,000 families. The rest was sent to the Education Department to help rebuild storm-damaged schools and universities near New Orleans.

The United Arab Emirates has long-standing ties to the Bush family. Records show the UAE and one of its sheikhs contributed at least $1 million before 1995 to the Bush Library Foundation, which established the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.