Israel’s official international development cooperation program was launched in late 1957 with the aim of sharing with the rest of the developing world the know-how and technologies which provided the basis for Israel’s own rapid development. MASHAV, the Hebrew acronym for Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, was established as a division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. What started as a modest program focused on grassroots-level human capacity building at a time when Israel itself was still very much a developing country, has blossomed into an extensive program of cooperation throughout the developing world with the aim of ensuring social, economic and environmental sustainable development.
Since its establishment, MASHAV has trained close to 270,000 course participants from approximately 132 countries in Israel and abroad and has developed dozens of demonstration projects worldwide.
MASHAV has consistently made its priority the goal of poverty alleviation, provision of food security, empowerment of women and upgrade of basic health and education services. The formalization of these priorities in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has only caused us to redouble our longstanding efforts to put Israeli solutions at the service of developing countries in order to further their implementation.