International Aid Lands in the U.S.

Millions of dollars donated by the United Arab Emirates are being used to fund the rebuilding of Joplin, Mo., which was devastated by a tornado in 2011. The handouts represent a "remarkable shift in global economic power."
February 19, 2013, 10am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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China, India and oil-rich Persian Gulf states are rapidly increasing their assistance to needy foreign countries by funding worthwhile project such as the construction of schools, health clinics and vaccine programs. Now, reports Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the United States - long the world’s largest provider of foreign aid - has become a recipient, and the rebuilding of Joplin symbolizes this emerging trend. 

"Today, the nearly 2,200 high school students in Joplin each have their own UAE-funded MacBook laptop, which they use to absorb lessons, perform homework and take tests. Across the city, the UAE is spending $5 million to build a neonatal intensive-care unit at Mercy Hospital, which also was ripped apart by the tornado."

"The gifts are part of an ambitious campaign by the UAE government to assist needy communities in the United States. Motivated by the same principal reasons that the U.S. government distributes foreign assistance — to help those less fortunate and to influence perceptions among the recipients — the handouts mark a small but remarkable shift in global economic power."

Joplin is not alone as a recipient of foreign assistance, notes Chandrasekaran. "During the past two years, the UAE government has paid for the construction of all-weather artificial turf soccer fields in low-income parts of New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. The embassy wants to build three more fields this year."

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, February 17, 2013 in The Washington Post
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