As part of its continuous, on-the-ground response in Japan, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is now partnering with the Israel Defense Forces Field Hospital which will be operating in Minamisanriko, one of the many cities decimated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. JDC—which previously supported IDF Field Hospitals in Haiti and Turkey—will be providing equipment such as an infant ventilator and portable ultrasound as well as life-saving antibiotics and other medications.

JDC’s past experience responding to earthquakes and tsunamis has taught us that the kind of unparalleled medical treatment we’ll help bring through the IDF Field Hospital is vital to the recovery of the Japanese people,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager. “Even as we quickly provide these services during the emergency phase of our response, JDC is monitoring needs and assessing projects to help improve local lives in the longer-term.”

In the two weeks since Japan was struck, JDC has provided:

  • food, fuel, blankets, tents, and other emergency supplies to evacuation centers through the International Rescue Committee;
  • emergency supplies to the hardest-hit Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures through JEN, a Japanese NGO and the Jewish Community of Japan;
  • learning materials, teaching aids, emergency school supplies, among other services at child-friendly spaces for Japanese children through the U.S. Fund for UNICEF/Japan Committee for UNICEF;
  • a critically needed water shipment and other emergency relief supplies through JDC’s partner Afya Foundation and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan’s aid and development arm;
  • food and water bottle distribution from Chabad’s bakery in Sendai.
  • JDC’s long history of working in and with Japan includes: the rebuilding of a school in Kosovo with Japan after the 1999 conflict; working in Kobe until 1941 supporting Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler’s Europe; and supporting Jewish refugees in Yokohama between 1918-20, most of whom were fleeing Russia. JDC gained substantial disaster expertise in Haiti in 2010 as well as in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and Maldives following the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004.

    JDC’s non-sectarian disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC coordinates its disaster relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli relief agencies, and the United Nations. JDC has provided immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe and continues to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions.

About JDC

JDC — the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee or “The Joint” — is the leading Jewish humanitarian organization, working in 70 countries to lift lives and strengthen communities. We rescue Jews in danger, provide aid to vulnerable Jews, develop innovative solutions to Israel’s most complex social challenges, cultivate a Jewish future, and lead the Jewish community’s response to crises. For over 100 years, our work has put the timeless Jewish value of mutual responsibility into action, making JDC essential to the survival of millions of people and the advancement of Jewish life across the globe.

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