Qatar announced the final installment of its $100 million (€76.43 million) fund to assist U.S. Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina, awarding a total of $5.6 million (€4.28 million) to a New Orleans university, an area housing agency and a worldwide disaster relief and human development organization.
The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS: Qatar announced the final installment of its $100 million (€76.43 million) fund to assist U.S. Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina, awarding a total of $5.6 million (€4.28 million) to a New Orleans university, an area housing agency and a worldwide disaster relief and human development organization.
Neighborhood Housing Services of New Orleans received nearly $3.1 million (€2.37 million) from the Qatar Katrina Fund to provide subsidies of up to $25,000 (€19,100) each for the purchase of affordable housing in the New Orleans area for low- and moderate-income Katrina victims.
Another $1.4 million (€1 million) went to Loyola University of New Orleans to fund 140 scholarships of $10,000 (€7,640) each over the next three years for financially disadvantaged students from the Gulf Coast who were among those most affected by the hurricane.
Humanity First USA received more than $1.1 million (€840,000) to repair two schools and five mosques serving the Muslim community in New Orleans. Humanity First, working closely with the Jefferson Muslim Association of the Greater New Orleans area, intends to have those hurricane-damaged facilities repaired and operating within the next year.
"While this represent the final phase of the Qatar Katrina Fund's donations, we hope that the impact will be felt for many years," H.E. Nasser Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Qatar's ambassador to the United States, said Friday.
The fund was established in September 2005, the month after Katrina hit, to provide direct cash assistance to people and institutions in most dire need in the wake of the storm. Gifts were committed to health care, education, housing and places of worship.
The fund's first phase of donations, totaling more than $61 million (€46.62 million), was announced in May and included grants to rebuild homes, financial assistance to provide medical care and university scholarships — all reserved for victims of Katrina.
The second phase, representing $33 million (€25.22 million), was unveiled in September and targeted the hardest-hit areas of Louisiana and Mississippi.
"Our intention was to meet emergency needs first and foremost, but also to support individuals and local institutions who are building for the future," the ambassador said.
This article was orginally published in The International Herald Tribune.
Humanity First is registered in 43 countries across 6 continents, and has been working on human development projects and responding to disasters since 1994. These have included the earthquakes in Turkey, Pakistan, Japan and Iran, floods in Africa and Latin America, hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) , tornado's (Kansas) and wild fires (California) in the USA, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and conflicts in Eastern Europe.
Since its inception and IRS registration in 2004, Humanity First has been focused on spending most of the raised funds on direct program related expenses. As a result, more than 90% of its funds are in that expense category. This is achieved through dedicated volunteers in its management, and program operation teams.