Despite Ethiopia’s relatively high GDP growth in recent years, per capita income remains among the lowest in the world, and well over a third of Ethiopians continue to live below the poverty line. In an economy heavily dependant on agriculture and plagued by frequent droughts, Ethiopians, particularly in rural areas, lack access to basic resources such as healthcare, education, and potable water.
JDC began working in Ethiopia in 1983, striving to advance the health and well being of those living in the Gondar region, including the Felas Mora community. Providing critical services, including medical care under the supervision of Dr. Rick Hodes, JDC’s Medical Director in Ethiopia for more than two decades, JDC meets the needs—both in Gondar and in Addis Ababa—of successive waves of Ethiopians who’ve immigrated to Israel over the past 30 years. At the request of the Government of Israel, JDC re-opened its clinic in Gondar in November 2009 to provide support to Felas Mora (Ethiopians of Jewish ancestry) who have an open file with Israel’s Interior Ministry regarding their aliyah (immigration) application.
Today in Ethiopia, JDC is:
- Providing health services at the Gondar clinic such as medications, lab tests, immunizations, hospital referrals, a health program for babies, and pre- and post-natal care for mothers. JDC provides meals and lodging to Felas Mora approved by the Israeli government for aliyah during their stay in Addis prior to their departure for Israel.
- Digging potable water wells, building primary schools, and providing vocational training and university scholarships for women. JDC’s medical program, directed by Dr. Hodes, continues to provide life-altering treatment to young people, particularly patients suffering from spinal deformities and those who need heart surgery or treatment for Hodgkin’s disease.
See how JDC is helping to improve medical education, clinical care, and research in Ethiopian pediatrics through its Medical Fellows placement program in Gondar.
DID YOU KNOW?
In 1984, contributions to JDC’s first “Open Mailbox” emergency campaign and food supplies from USAID enabled JDC to become the main supporter of three tent cities sheltering some 50,000 victims of the devastating Ethiopian famine.