Jewish, Israeli organizations provide service, raise millions for Haiti
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (WJC)–Jewish humanitarian organizations in the United States and Canada have already raised millions of dollars for Haiti relief aid since the devastating earthquake that hit the Caribbean nation a week ago. Among the top fundraisers are the American Jewish World Service (AJWS), which has received US$ 2 million so far, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which until now has collected US$ 1.5 million.
The JDC’s coordinator of disaster relief, William Recant, was quoted by the ‘Jerusalem Post’ as saying that total donations via the Jewish community could well reach US$ 10 million, as outreach continues over the coming weeks and months. “This is a very unique disaster and the response has been overwhelming. People want to help,” Recant said. Over 100,000 people are feared dead, and millions have been made homeless in the capital Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.
Both JDC and AJWS have already delivered direct relief to people on the ground. “There has been extraordinary devastation in some of the smaller towns as well,” AJWS spokesman Joshua Berkman said. He noted that the group’s coordinator in Haiti was living out of his car because his home had been destroyed in the quake. “They’re getting no international relief, so it’s very important that somebody is there providing for the people who are desperately in need,” Berkman added.
The JDC, alongside other Jewish groups, has been distributing aid dollars to Israeli services, including the Israel Defense Forces’ field hospital and IsraAID. Israeli efforts in particular received praise for already being fully operational. CNN reported on Monday that Israel was the only state so far to have sent a field hospital equipped with all that was required for surgical operations. Doctors from various missions had sent patients requiring surgery to Israel’s makeshift hospital, particularly those whose condition is critical, the news network said.
On Monday, Israeli teams rescued a woman who had been trapped for six days under the wreckage of Port-au-Prince University. The team used special equipment to begin lifting parts of the rubble and carefully managed to create an opening, preventing the structure from collapsing.
If you want to donate to the Jewish relief efforts in Haiti, visit the following websites:
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress