Israel and India Work Together on Nepal Quake Relief
As the dust settles in the aftermath of the massive earthquake that hit Nepal last week, the real extent of the disaster is slowly coming to light. Local authorities have revised the death toll to more than 4,400, with twice that number seriously injured.
The Himalayan Republic continues to be jolted by powerful aftershocks, and a secondary disaster could be on the horizon. With people huddled up in hurriedly set up tent cities across the country, and water and power supplies rendered irreparable, the risk of communicable and waterborne diseases is on the rise.
Israel has dispatched a field hospital unit comprised of 250 medics and rescuers to the earthquake-battered nation. An additional rescue team of 90 IDF personnel is also on its way. These teams will be facing logistical challenges even before the operations can get off the ground. Nepal’s main airport in Kathmandu has also taken a hit from the earthquake, which is limiting its abilities to accommodate larger aircrafts.
In addition to Israel’s efforts, India is also offering aid to Nepal – according to Assaf Moran, Political Counsellor at the Embassy in New Delhi.
Israeli Ambassador to India, Daniel Carmon, who is in regular touch with the Indian authorities regarding relief operations, also expressed his appreciation for the “constructive response” from Indian authorities.
Earlier on Sunday, India had allowed the IDF to use the country’s airspace to carry out its humanitarian operation.
The IDF already conducted a similar mission in the region, when India’s North-Western Kutch region of Gujarat experienced a massive earthquake in 2001, claiming 20,000 lives. Israel dispatched a field hospital that treated more than 1,000 casualties.
Soon thereafter, India’s current Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Israel remained a key partner in Gujarat’s economic development.
Now India is aiding Israel in the rescue efforts in Nepal, and the situation has come full circle.
Vijeta Uniyal is Contributing Editor for the UK-based Commentator and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.