Following the G20 Summit in Toronto earlier this week, Steven Schwager, the CEO of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), said that solving the challenges that face the world’s poor is an essential element for global economic recovery.

“As the largest provider of welfare services to poverty stricken Jews in the world, we have observed first-hand the devastating effects that the global financial crisis has had on our clients who today face growing hunger, sickness, and unemployment,” said Schwager. “It is incumbent upon us all, especially in an age of interconnected economies and communities, to create innovative solutions to ease the burden of those who face this kind of hopelessness.”

JDC’s global humanitarian assistance program includes the distribution of food, clothing, medicine, and basic needs to poor Jews and others in more than 70 countries. JDC has also pioneered a number of job training, micro-loan, and financial support programs that have been implemented in places like Argentina, Israel, and nations throughout South Asia. JDC has created and implemented these programs to address the needs of people facing sudden poverty during economic crises; vulnerable populations with high rates of unemployment or non-employment; or those who have lost their livelihoods in the wake of natural and manmade disasters.