Saudi Arabia has donated more than $6 million to replace Louisiana State University (LSU) medical equipment destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported July 25.
Baton Rouge-based LSU determined equipment needs, and then the Saudi government provided the funding in cooperation with Siemens, Nail Al-Jubeir, director of the Saudi Arabian Information Office in Washington, DC, told the Advocate.
The donation includes $1 million for an MRI machine to help Baton Rouge’s poor and uninsured. Previously, charity patients had to travel to New Orleans for the specialized test.
“We saw a need to give back … and we had the ability to do so,” Al-Jubeir told the Advocate.
According to the United Nations, the Kingdom was one of the largest contributors to the Katrina Relief Fund outside the US. Throughout the emergency, Saudi Arabia coordinated with the American Red Cross and other US humanitarian groups to identify the best way to support relief efforts.
On July 12, Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal toured New Orleans’ hard-hit Ninth Ward to see first-hand the progress of the Saudi relief effort in the city following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and to assess future needs.