Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast of the US on August 29, 2005, had
devastated a large part of New Orleans. During his visit to the US one
month after the storm, the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
had pledged an extraordinary sum of $100m on behalf of Qatar to assist
the hurricane victims.
bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, then Qatar’s ambassador to the US, led the
efforts to select the local partners and projects that have provided
healthcare, housing, and scholarships to the people most affected by
of the most visible projects launched under the Qatar Katrina Fund has
been the March of Dimes Mom & Baby Mobile Health Centres. In the
wake of Hurricane Katrina, thousands of pregnant women and new mothers
were forced to relocate to temporary housing units or relief shelters
without access to medical care or public transpiration. Local
healthcare facilities were heavily damaged by the storm and hospitals
recorded increases in premature and low birth weight babies, said Salem
Shubash, a senior official associated with the Katrina Fund activities.
the Emir’s fund, the March of Dimes purchased three mobile health units
to provide parental and early paediatric care for mothers and children
living in hurricane-damaged areas. These mobile health vans include
private examination rooms, waiting areas and nurses’ stations, and they
are equipped with foetal monitors, ultrasound machines and other
medical equipment. A mobile unit is already making an average 35
patient-visits each week, and is expected to serve over 4000 patients
throughout the course of the project,” he said.
gesture has touched the lives of thousands of hurricane victims.
Hospitals, universities, mosques and other facilities in Mississippi,
Alabama and Louisiana are being rebuilt by the fund.