AMERICUS, Ga. (May 2, 2006) – Habitat for Humanity International has been named a recipient of a $22 million grant – part of a $100 million gift from the People of Qatar – to help in the long-term recovery of the Gulf Coast region. The grant to Habitat’s Operation Home Delivery hurricane response program will help to build simple, decent homes in partnership with low-income families affected by Hurricane Katrina. The gift was announced today by His Excellency Nasir Bin Hamad M. al-Khalifa, ambassador of Qatar to the United States.
Habitat for Humanity will use the funds to build 153 homes in Louisiana, 107 homes in Mississippi and 33 in Alabama. The gift from Qatar brings Habitat’s fund-raising efforts up to nearly $123 million for its Operation Home Delivery program.
“This generous donation, the single largest gift in support of Habitat for Humanity’s hurricane recovery efforts, will help us serve more families more quickly,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are committed to building at least 1,000 houses with hurricane-affected families by summer 2007 and then continuing to build as long as resources permit. Gifts such as this allow us to accelerate our acquisition of land and materials necessary to build both houses and hope with families who desperately need both.
“We are particularly pleased to be one recipient of a gift that is being shared with other worthy organizations,” said Reckford. “While Habitat for Humanity focuses on housing, we recognize that needs are broad and the helpers many. We are delighted that the people and government of Qatar recognize the need for a holistic response to the great array of needs in this devastated area. We are deeply grateful for their generosity and we know that the families who receive homes as a result of this gift will be positively impacted for generations,” said Reckford. “The people of Qatar are truly offering a gift of lasting change.”
Today’s $60 million grant announcements also named educational institutions, Tulane, Xavier and Louisiana State universities; Children’s hospital in New Orleans; and the March of Dimes as partial recipients of the $100 million grant. An additional $40 million in grants will be awarded at a later date.
“We are immensely gratified that people outside the United States are helping with Katrina recovery, just as Americans reached out to assist those devastated by the December 2004 tsunami that raked coastlines of countries bordering the Indian Ocean,” said Mark Crozet, senior vice president of Development for Habitat for Humanity International. “There is but one sun that shines over all humanity, and natural disasters observe no geographic borders. In times of grave tragedy, it is wonderful to see people of all countries unite in reaching out to those in need.”
Habitat for Humanity’s Operation Home Delivery program, developed in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and working through local Habitat affiliates, includes the construction of more than 1,000 new homes by mid-2007 to help affected families in the Gulf Coast region. Through this hurricane response, Habitat also is working to serve as a catalyst that brings together organizations to address low-income housing and recovery on a scale that Habitat alone would not be able to accomplish.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org  .