Israel's humanitarian aid efforts

Israel's humanitarian aid

  •   Humanitarian aid efforts worldwide
    Israel has a long-standing tradition of extending aid to alleviate hunger, disease and poverty, as well as in the wake of natural disasters and terrorist attacks beyond its borders.​​​​​​​
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    Israel's humanitarian aid Israel's humanitarian aid
    IDF doctor examines a patient at the field hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti - March 2010 (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)

    Israel on the frontline of international aid ​

    A first response team after the devastating Haiti earthquake; decades of humanitarian assistance and capacity building in Africa; emergency medical aid and transfers into Gaza: the Israeli government and its people show exemplary levels of humanitarian aid, both internationally and locally.

    Israel has a heightened sense of humanitarian awareness and responsibility. With aid teams poised to respond in the wake of natural or man-made disasters anywhere in the world, Israel's 200-strong relief team was the first on the scene in January 2010 after the earthquake hit Haiti. Israel helped save thousands of lives.

    Israeli medical and rescue teams extend aid after Haiti earthquake - Jan 2010
        Israeli medical and rescue teams extend aid after Haiti earthquake
     Jan 2010 (Photos: IDF Spokesperson)

    In March 2011 following the devastating earthquakes in Japan, Israel was one of the first countries to send aid according to the needs and request of the Japanese government, and one of the first states to send a medical team and set up a field clinic.​

    By tragic circumstance, Israel is a world leader in handling mass casualties. No other country can dispatch search and rescue teams and field hospitals as fast and effectively. Israeli efforts also include relief to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and first response aid in the wake of the 2004 tsunami with 60 tons of international aid to Indonesia, and 82 tons of relief to Sri Lanka alone.

    Tsunami - January 2005:
    Sri Lankan child receives medical treatment

    After the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, the Israeli Flying Aid group sent a mission to give supplies and shelter for thousands of families. In 2009, Israel medical teams provided relief to storm victims in the Philippines and food aid a year earlier to the Congo.

    Israel's inclusion in the OECD, the 31-member economic forum, in 2010 demonstrates Israel’s commitment to upholding the highest levels of humanitarian commitment.

    A history of helping beyond borders

    Through various governmental organizations like MASHAV, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, and non-governmental organizations, Israel has a long-standing tradition of coordinating relief to alleviate disease, hunger, and poverty.

    Starting 10 years after its founding, Israel adopted an official humanitarian aid agenda, providing vital relief to more than 140 countries. Among those countries receiving aid are nations that do not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel.

    Since 1959, Israeli doctors have been offering eye camps to treat ocular diseases to people throughout the developing world.

    In 1970 Israel started opening its doors to the world's refugees. It has saved non-Jewish people in distress and those seeking refuge from countries such as Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Vietnam, Bosnia, Kosovo, Eritrea and Sudan. 

    Since 1995 Israeli doctors acting through Save a Child's Heart have been giving kids from around the world, including from the Palestinian Authority (PA), Iraq, Jordan and other Arab nations free life-saving heart operations. Since the organization first started 2,300 children have been treated, and almost half are from the PA, Jordan and Iraq.

    IDF aid missions help thousands around the world: Over the last 26 years, Israel has sent out 15 aid missions to countries struck by natural disasters. Immediately upon arriving in these countries, IDF doctors set up field hospitals. Overall, medical care was given to more than 2,300 people in afflicted areas, and 220 were saved from certain death.

  • Israeli humanitarian aid organizations


    IsraAID​ (The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid), founded in Israel in 2001, is an umbrella organization of more than 35 Israeli and Jewish non-governmental organizations and other individuals active in development and relief work around the world and concerned about global issues. IsraAID and its members have provided relief assistance to more than 20 countries including Rwanda, India, Mexico, Congo, Chad, Sudan (Darfur) and Malawi.

    The Fast Israeli Rescue and Search Team (FIRST) is an Israeli NGO that sends search and rescue teams to disaster zones around the world. FIRST has also provided relief assistance in Peru, Turkey, India, Mexico, El Salvador, Greece, Armenia and New Guinea, among others.
    Israeli Flying Aid​ (IFA), an Israeli NGO, provides life saving aid to people affected by natural and man made disasters worldwide.
    Save a Child's Heart (SACH) is an organization that provides urgent pediatric heart surgery and follow-up care for children from developing countries. SACH was founded in 1995 and has since repaired the hearts of more than 2,100 children from a wide variety of countries including China, Congo, Ecuador, Angola​, Ethiopia, Eritrea, RwandaIraq​, Jordan, Russia, Sri Lanka and Ukraine as well as to children in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
    LATET​ (Hebrew for "to give") - Israeli Humanitarian Aid is an NGO established in 1996 and devoted to assisting populations in need in Israel and around the world on a universal and equal basis. ​