The United Arab Emirates has pledged up to $1 million to provide new Apple laptops to high school students in Joplin, Mo.

On May 22, an EF-5 tornado ripped through the Midwestern town, killing 160 people and destroying thousands of homes and businesses. Joplin High School was one of the many buildings damaged by the twister.

“The entire world was touched by the devastation caused in Joplin by the May 22 tornado. Given the scale of the disaster, including the destruction of the community’s only high school, we felt it was important to provide assistance,” said Yousef Al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States.

The donation will provide notebook computers to all 2,200 displaced Joplin students so they can receive continuous curriculum during the transition from temporary to permanent schools. When the fall term begins on Aug. 17, half of the students will attend classes in an empty big-box store and the rest will gather in a vacant school building that managed to avoid major damage.

In the coming months, the Joplin school district and the UAE embassy also plan to work together to create cultural programming for the students.

[The Joplin Globe]