Friday, May 8, 2015

Through JDC’S Looking Glass | Aid Distribution in Nepal

ASam Amiel visits with the uncle of an earthquake victim in Manikhel, Nepal
Two weeks after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal, aid workers are still in full force, rebuilding lives, providing for victims, and evaluating the damage done. Worryingly, the earthquake struck just six weeks prior to monsoon season. While aid teams are working diligently to meet the needs of tens of thousands of displaced people, navigating through rough, mountainous terrain and mudslides, they are preparing for a monsoon season that is predicted to be particularly disastrous in the region.

Federation’s international partners at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) along with their local network of partners, including Tevel b’Tzedek and Teach For Nepal (TFN) have been on the ground, working round-the-clock to provide critical aid, food, and medicine while focusing on long-term relief efforts.

On May 5, senior member of JDC’s disaster response team, Sam Amiel, published his first-hand account, “On the Ground: Delivering Relief in Manikhel, Nepal,” which depicts the current situation in Nepal and sheds light on the tough realities that aid-workers are facing.

“Today's visit to a very tight-knit community that lost a daughter was heart-wrenching. We brought our condolences, visited with each family to understand how they are surviving, and delivered critically needed aid,” said Sam Amiel.

“The village school in Manikhel, 8,500 feet above sea level, served hundreds of children walking two hours each way from across the hilly region. The school is closed for a month, serving as a relief distribution point for 1,500 people across ten villages. When I visited, 15 families were living in the school, with many others forming makeshift structures from tarp, tin, stones, and wood salvaged from the piles of the rubble.

I saw wide-scale destruction in some of the hardest-hit districts in Nepal. It is extremely encouraging to know our partners at Teach for Nepal (TFN) and Tevel B'Tzedek take the same community-based approach as all of us at JDC when providing relief and assistance. We all fully believe in long-term sustainable impact for those most in need.”

Thus far, JDC’s disaster response team has visited six villages where more than 90 percent of homes are destroyed or uninhabitable. The need for shelter is great, especially given the monsoon season set to strike in five short weeks.

Today, JDC is activating their network of partners to identity solutions to best solve Nepal’s short and long-term needs.

One of JDC’s partner organizations in Nepal, Tevel B'Tzedek, has been developing strategies to help communities overcome the tragedy. The organization’s current and primary focus is on providing shelter, particularly transitional shelter that can withstand the impending monsoons.

“The torrential rains that are expected to strike Nepal in the coming weeks threaten the makeshift shelters and tents that were constructed in the wake of the earthquake. Overcoming great challenges, Tevel staff have succeeded in sourcing local construction materials and have already begun work erecting transitional and permanent housing in affected villages in which we work. Materials in short supply – especially tin, thick plastic sheeting and basic tools – are also being sourced from neighboring India and sent by plane from Israel. To give local children a sense of stability and a safe place to learn, we are also designing temporary learning spaces to replace the affected schools.”

All of this life-saving work is possible because or your generosity to Federation.

Nepal still needs our community’s support. Needs are mounting, supplies are dwindling and the monsoons are coming. You can help. Make your gift today at

100% of all contributions will go humanitarian aid in Nepal.

Click here to read Senior Member of JDC’s disaster response team, Sam Amiel’s, full story.

Click here to learn more about Tevel B'Tzedek and their live-saving efforts.


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