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Thursday, February 21, 2013

UAE Donates Laptops To Tornado-Struck Joplin

Students log on to their new laptop computers on the first day of school at a temporary high school in a converted big-box store in Joplin, Mo. Wednesday, Aug.  17, 2011. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

Students log on to their new laptop computers on the first day of school at a temporary high school in a converted big-box store in Joplin, Mo. Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

For decades, the United States has been the most generous provider of foreign aid in the world, donating billions of dollars for schools, health clinics and vaccine programs in poor countries.

It’s not common for foreign countries to send their aid money here. But that’s just what happened in the town of Joplin, Mo., which was hit by a mile-wide tornado in 2011.

The tornado killed 161 people and left much of the town in ruins, including the high school and the main hospital in town.

The United Arab Emirates has bought a new laptop for every high school student in Joplin. The town is also going to open a new neonatal intensive care unit with money from the UAE.

Some conservative radio commentators have called it “Islamic blood money,” but the Joplin school superintendent says “it’s the right thing for kids.”

How do you feel about the U.S. getting aid from the UAE? Tell us know on Facebook.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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