Federation and our global partners at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) are mobilizing emergency teams and coordinating with local authorities, Israeli officials, and the Nepalese and Indian governments to assess the unfolding situation and ensure survivors’ immediate needs are addressed.
In just one day and a half, the government of Israel constructed a fully functional field hospital with intensive care units, operating rooms, specialty doctors who are performing complex surgical procedures, and two neo-natal units – completely funded by the Federation and JDC. Today, they are serving more than 200 people a day.
JDC and Israel are focusing heavily on search and rescue mission efforts, something that the Israeli government specializes in. Israel continues to send planes filled with supplies, medications, and volunteers while rescuing Israelis and those stranded on return flights. Several Israeli helicopters have also been deployed to assist the Nepalese army and military in search and rescue missions.
According to Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Representative, Alon Lavi, who addressed the Jewish Federations of North America in a special conference call on April 29, “the cooperation and collaboration between local government agencies and foreign aid distributors has been great.”
In addition to providing medical care and rescue relief, the government of Israel immediately decided to open embassy gates in Kathmandu, where it “became a camping site for hundreds of people,” said Alon Lavi.
Mandie Winston, Director of JDC’s International Program, who is currently in Nepal, shared her first-hand experience and account of the situation.
“Our global team started working right when we saw the first reports on Saturday,” said Mandie Wintson. “We knew it was going to a global disaster, a situation in which the global Jewish community would want to be called upon and one in which their response was and is very much needed.”
As of right now, the JDC is focusing on providing relief to the most vulnerable populations, including women, children, the very poor, people in remote villages, and those with disabilities. The JDC’s short-term plan is to provide rescue and relief and their long-run plan is to implement a full recovery phase. However, as the devastation continues to unfold – even after a full week – planning is a challenge, as much remains unknown.
Federation’s mission is to care for everyone in need, and Nepal needs our community’s support now more than ever before.
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