The Jewish Coalition for Disaster Response
The Jewish Coalition for Disaster Response (JCDR), established in 1994 and coordinated by the JDC, provides a unified Jewish response to natural and manmade disasters on behalf of its constituent organizations, which together represent the full spectrum of Jewish life. In June 2013, the Jewish Coalition for Syrian Refugees was convened to raise funds and awareness of the dire situation facing the rapidly growing number of civilians fleeing Syria’s expanding civil war. Since then, it has taken a leading role in providing an apolitical, nonpartisan Jewish humanitarian response to their plight.
- To date, $1.6 million has been raised and over $1.4 million has been allocated to a wide range of partners and programs that are responding to refugee needs.
Focusing initially on Jordan, and working through established partner agencies like Unicef and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) that were already on the ground, the Coalition provided more than $500,000 in critical medical, nutritional, and psychosocial care for the most vulnerable.
Expanding its remit in 2015 as a floodtide of refugees sought haven in Europe and the wider Middle East, this second phase of the Coalition’s work has been concentrating on the special needs of refugee women and children; providing psychosocial support for beleaguered responders working with overwhelming numbers of refugees; and offering badly needed medical care, basic supplies, and resettlement services in Greece, Hungary, Turkey, and Serbia.
Over the past year, the Coalition has allocated funds to:
- JDC, which worked through its local Hungarian staff and in partnership with Hungarian NGOs Menedek and the Student Counseling Center at Szeged University to create and deploy a mother-child health care unit, including a midwife, at the Debrecen Refugee Camp, and to provide psychosocial support to hundreds of first responders in Hungary.
- Additionally, JDC worked in partnership with the Turkish Jewish Community and Turkey’s International Blue Crescent (IBC) to deliver critically needed school supplies to thousands of refugee children acclimating to new educational environments in Turkey, thereby removing one burden from hard-pressed refugee parents.
- World Jewish Relief (WJR), which has been working in partnership with IBC in Turkey to ensure that thousands of refugee children have the winter supplies they need, including warm clothing, boots, and sleeping bags.
- The (Yonkers-based) Afya Foundation, for the procurement and shipping of pallets of humanitarian supplies for refugees in Greece and the wider Middle East.
- IsraAid, to support its ongoing medical relief programs, including a mobile medical clinic for refugees in Greece.
- the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC), which brought trauma experts together with local caregivers for training and psychosocial support.
- Israeli Flying Aid, which provided direct assistance in Syria and in the Mafraq refugee camp in Jordan.
- NATAN-International Humanitarian Aid and SID-Israel, for a relief program in Serbia that aims to help refugees improve their physical and mental well-being.
- the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), to provide resettlement processing and referral assistance to Syrian refugees in Turkey and Jordan.
- the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), to raise awareness of the refugee crisis, implement a coordinated humanitarian response, and provide professional training on the psychological and medical needs of refugee families.
JCDR's work with refugees has also led to the founding of the MultiFaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, an interfaith movement dedicated to spreading awareness and advocating for the needs of Syrian refugee populations.
Go to JDC.org to read the press release.
Read Shadi Martini’s Op Ed ‘A Syrian Refugee and Echoes of the Past’ which appeared in the Wall Street Journal.
Follows the link to the report broadcasted by i24news. It is an accurate reflection of the work done in the field , thanks to a JCDR grant.