As part of its ongoing response to the extraordinary devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is shipping a container of critically-important food, shelter, hygiene, and medical supplies to the island nation and will ensure fresh water, sanitation items, and shelter support for those on the ground through its partners the Afya Foundation and Catholic Relief Services. JDC will also provide life-saving equipment and supplies to the Israeli Defense Forces Field Hospital when it arrives in Philippines. JDC previously partnered with the field hospital in Haiti, Sri Lanka, and Japan. Additionally, JDC is providing emergency support for children through its partnership with UNICEF. JDC’s advance team of disaster relief and development experts, including a medical doctor and emergency field medic, is heading to the Philippines later this week to assess needs and work with its local/international partners and the Filipino Jewish community to ensure maximum impact for survivors.

‘Even while we mourn the loss of so many lives, we are working around the clock to ensure that the Filipino people are cared for as quickly and responsibly as possible. There are serious challenges ahead in the short term, but our partnerships with the IDF Field Hospital, Afya Foundation, Catholic Relief Services, and UNICEF represent a strategic and high-impact solution to the overwhelming despair Filipinos face everyday,’ said JDC CEO Alan H. Gill.

Harrowing reports out of disaster zones detail hundreds of thousands of people left homeless, extreme supply shortages, and slow-moving rescue and recovery efforts. These efforts are even further complicated by the vast scale of the Philippines — made up of thousands islands — and the overwhelming medical, nutritional, and emotional needs of millions of people in the most-affected regions. JDC has therefore focused its immediate response on the organization of relief supplies and state-of-the-art medical care to address the growing crisis among storm survivors.

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 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, including 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.