One week later, JDC's Haiti relief work aids vicitims of earquake and aftershocks

by Eduardo Bialostozky

On-the-Ground Partners Carry Out Critical
Emergency Medical, Nutritional and Material Relief

NEW YORK, NY, January 20, 2010—One week after the catastrophic earthquake and aftershocks struck Haiti, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the world’s largest Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, and its partners on the ground are ensuring that critical medical, nutritional and material relief are reaching victims everyday.

“We have been touched by the outpouring of support for the victims of the Haiti earthquake and will continue to provide the timeliest and appropriate assistance through our invaluable partners, especially in wake of the latest aftershock this morning,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager. “As we did after the 2004 Tsunami in South Asia, JDC will reserve a large portion of funds for sustainable intermediate and long-term rebuilding and reconstruction programs. By developing initiatives with both international and local partners during the recovery and development phases, we know we can powerfully impact the people of Haiti with opportunities for sustainable improvements in health, education, and employment.”

JDC is currently supporting Heart to Heart International to provide immediate medical aid, equipment, and services to victims of the earthquake. On Monday, Heart to Heart’s team of doctors and nurses brought medical assistance to Leogane, an isolated community where little assistance has reached thus far. JDC is also working with the Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces, whose team of medical professionals is operating a field hospital in Port-au-Prince. JDC has helped equip the hospital, furnishing infant incubators for its neonatal unit and orthopedic devices that have been in great demand.

In collaboration with the Afya Foundation, JDC sent a container of mattresses and much-needed medical supplies to Partners in Health, a renowned local NGO founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, on the ground in Haiti. A second container is being sent on Friday and a third will follow. JDC is also supporting EcoWorks International which, working through local sources, will be operating a feeding program for victims. Further partnerships with local NGOs are being explored by JDC to provide emergency assistance during this initial stage of its disaster response.

JDC continues to coordinate its activities with the White House, the Department of State, USAID, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli relief agencies, the United Nations, and the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief. 

JDC and its partners worldwide have implemented similar relief efforts and continue to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions. These efforts, along with those in Haiti, are part of JDC’s International Development Program (IDP), which provides immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters.

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