In the wake of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has begun collecting funds for emerging relief efforts. Amid a quickly rising death toll and widespread destruction in Kathmandu and the surrounding region (including northeast India), JDC’s staff experts in India are consulting with the local authorities, the Nepalese and Indian governments, and global partners to assess the unfolding situation on the ground and ensure survivors’ immediate needs are addressed. ‘We extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the Nepalese people at this time of heart-wrenching tragedy. Together our network of global partners, we are drawing on our vast experience and standing presence in South Asia to ensure relief to survivors in their time of need.’ said Alan H. Gill, JDC’s CEO. ‘Today, as we have done many times in the past, we are standing as one with all humankind by deploying a Jewish response to a crisis impacting millions.’ The earthquake -; which flattened buildings, triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, and has resulted in a death toll of more than 1,000 people -; is one of the worst in Nepal’s recent history. The Hindu-majority nation, which is known for its mountainous terrain and hiking tourism, is a popular travel destination for Israelis, who are reported to be among those impacted while visiting the country, and is home to a Chabad House. JDC has provided immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe, including the Philippines, Haiti, Japan, and South Asia after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and continues to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions. JDC’s 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 relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli agencies, and the United Nations.