Two days ago a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. The latest numbers suggest over 4,000 people have been killed and thousands more injured. According to the United Nations, the death toll is likely to rise to the tens of thousands in Nepal, India and China.
The Jewish Federations of North America is collecting funds for emergency relief efforts (click here to contribute). JFNA is working closely with its partners who are assessing the unfolding situation on the ground to identify how to best ensure survivors’ immediate needs are addressed. Some emergency JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee) supplies will arrive in Nepal within the next 24 hours.
Approximately 2,000 Israelis are currently in Nepal and Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that at least 150 of them are still “out of contact,” their fate unknown at this stage. Hundreds of Israelis spent last night in the courtyard of the Israeli embassy and in the Chabad House in Kathmandu, and are awaiting evacuation aboard El Al jets now en route. Meanwhile, an IDF advance team of about a dozen officers arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday to assess needs and a larger medical mission of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Magen David Adom personnel departed Israel Monday. The IDF is preparing to send a large delegation of over 200 medical and search and rescue people with a mobile field hospital.
“It’s at times like this, that our shared commitment to Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, finds its deepest expression,” Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Board Chair Kathryn L. Unger and President and CEO Stuart Mellan wrote in an email to the community. “In the past, Federations have worked through our partners to provide immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe, including the Philippines, Haiti, Japan, and South Asia after the Indian Ocean Tsunami and continue to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims of this tragedy.”