Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief
Sudan Members

Sudan Relief

The Jewish Coalition for Sudan Relief convened in 2006. Made up of 24 mainly North American Jewish organizations, the Coalition has raised nearly $1 million to date. The Coalition continually supports the work of NGOs that are actively providing humanitarian relief to those affected by the ongoing crisis in Sudan.

The Coalition initially awarded grants to support medical assistance. A grant was awarded to Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to support their emergency medical and nutritional relief programs in Darfur and Chad. A number of grants have been made to the International Medical Corps (IMC) to support their emergency health and nutritional services; to provide urgently-needed hygiene, newborn care, general medical aid, and first aid health kits to vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs); to help improve the quality of emergency obstetric medical services; and to construct laboratory, neonatal and hospital facilities. Grants were also provided to IMC to support their primary healthcare efforts and the operation of mobile health clinics in West Darfur. In addition, the Coalition supported the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children in providing reproductive health assistance in Darfur, and a partnership with the International Rescue Committee helped fund educational and support services for refugees in a camp in northeastern Chad.

The psychological impact of violence is all-to-often overlooked as more basic needs such as food, shelter, clean water and medical needs are defined as priorities. Support to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and Mercy Corps helped address the important psychosocial needs of the displaced, enabling people to better handle their current situation and to recover more easily once the violence finally ends.

In addition, the Coalition has also supported the efforts of organizations working to assist the plight of Sudanese refugees in Israel. Thousands of refugees from Sudan are trying to escape the difficult conditions and most of these refugees are now in unsafe environments in neighboring countries such as Chad and Egypt, where they continue to suffer from persecution and insecurity. An increasing number of Sudanese asylum seekers have crossed the Egyptian border into Israel, the only signatory of the 1951 Refugee Convention in the region. The number of Sudanese seeking refuge in Israel is increasing continuously. The Coalition has supported a number of programs for Sudanese asylum seekers in Israel implemented by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Partnering with ASSAF, JDC broadened the reach of the active psychosocial program, enriched the number of participating professionals, and conducted a thorough national assessment of the educational needs of the refugee children. In addition, JDC partnered with Rabbis for Human Rights in Jerusalem to provide shelter for families who were in detention in Israeli prison and without a home to be released to. Finally, JDC's GAMLA program has received Coalition support to deliver integrated activities providing education for Sudanese children in Eilat, Tel Aviv and Arad. GAMLA is continuing to utilize volunteers to provide home- and field-based tutoring and instruction to refugee children in Israel.

Finally, the JCSR has supported peace building efforts in southern Sudan by providing a grant to My Sister's Keeper to facilitate a sustainable peace conference in Southern Kordofan, where diverse Sudanese women leaders representing 12 localities came together to receive training in conflict management, strategizing and action planning.

As Jews, we have a particular moral responsibility to speak out and take action against ethnic cleansing and genocide... Today, in Darfur, Sudan, crimes against humanity are occurring and once again the international community is doing little about it.

We must respond while there is still time, and save as many lives as we can.