The following has been issued by JDC President Mark Sisisky and CEO Ariel Zwang:
Overnight, Ukraine was invaded. The country is currently under heavy fire with casualties already reported. As mayhem ensues and we step into the unknown, urgent needs have already surfaced among the Jews we serve and extraordinary measures must be taken during these uncertain and challenging times.
JDC is deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of the tens of thousands of Jews who, among their fellow Ukrainian citizens, are experiencing sudden calamity. We worry especially for those elderly and homebound vulnerable people. JDC has been the lifeline for vulnerable Jewish elderly and children across Ukraine for years.
Today, our priority is to provide safety and continued humanitarian assistance for Jews in need in this escalating crisis. For the last few months JDC has been planning for various emergency scenarios while troops have been massing on the border of Ukraine. Now that a full blown war has started,our staff on the ground is shifting into emergency action, implementing several war-related plans.
That includes providing extra material support, including food and medicine, to those sheltering in place; deploying care-taking services and hotline responses; increasing cash assistance to elderly and families who are in financial turmoil; and preparing for potential additional and increasing emergency situations. We are also anticipating a flow of fleeing refugees from battle zones AND our team is focusing on preparing for safe havens for displaced Jews.
Today Ukraine is home to 200,000 Jews, one of the largest Jewish communities in the world. We know that in the following days and weeks we will need the support of the Jewish philanthropic world to address the colossal challenges we face. JDC is grateful to the generous individuals, foundations and communities that reached out to us immediately with their generous support. We deeply thank you in the name of the Jews of Ukraine.
We pray for peace.