The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III will honor the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) for its Typhoon Haiyan aid work, and work with Filipinos in the diaspora, in a ceremony in Manila on Friday, December 5. President Aquino will present the CFO’s annual Kaanib ng Bayan (Presidential) award to JDC representatives at the Malacanan Palace in the presence of the Israeli ambassador, among other dignitaries, and thirty-three other recipients including individuals and NGOs. ‘We are deeply moved by this special honor from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas and are proud of our ongoing work to build stronger communities and a brighter future in the Philippines,’ said JDC CEO Alan H. Gill. ‘One year after Haiyan, there is still much to be done, but we move ahead knowing that we have restored a sense of normalcy and hope to the lives of thousands of Filipinos.’ Over the last twelve months, JDC has invested more than $1.5m of $2.7 million raised from the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors in rebuilding classrooms and schools, restoring local fishing businesses, offering medical and psychological help, and facilitating disaster preparedness. These projects, and initial emergency work, have directly benefited more than 15,000 people across the archipelago. Additionally, JDC and the JDC-supported Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI) have worked with Filipinos in the diaspora regarding community organizing and financial literacy among migrant workers. JDC has a long history in the Philippines dating back to World War II when it helped more than 1,300 European Jews find refuge on the island nation in a joint operation with Philippine President Manuel L. Qurzon; the Frieder brothers, from an entrepreneurial Jewish family based in Manila; and U.S. envoy to the Philippines Paul V. McNutt. ‘Our work in the Philippines today is underscored by the especially poignant ties we have with a nation that selflessly offered safe haven to the Jewish people during our darkest hour. It is the ultimate embodiment of the Jewish concept ofarevut, mutual responsibility for one another,’ said Gill. JDC’s work in the Philippines was carried out in partnership the IDF Field Hospital and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Afya Foundation, Catholic Relief Services, UNICEF, Magen David Adom (MDA), the International Medical Corps (IMC), the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the Israel Trauma Coalition, the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), the Center for Disaster Preparedness, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation (RAFI), Balay Mindanaw, AGAAP, Negrenese Volunteers for Change (NVC), NORFIL, and the Jewish Association of the Philippines.