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August 23, 2018 8:45 am

Basics Getting to Kerala Flood Victims, with Help of JDC, Indian Jewish Community

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A flooded house in Kerala, India in August 2018. Photo: Santhosh Varghese/ – The Jewish community of India, together with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, is responding to the destructive floods in Kerala, providing food and clothing to hundreds of families hard-hit by the disaster.

With a presence in India since 1950, the JDC and its partners in the Jewish community will provide the aid through the All-India Disaster Mitigation Institute, its longstanding partner, and will continue to raise funds and monitor needs for future support given the extent of the flooding, which has killed hundreds of people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

A JDC team will be dispatched to Kerala for the distribution of aid and to assess needs of survivors, including members of the Jewish community, impacted by the floods.

“As we join with our neighbors in mourning the loss of life in Kerala, we are also acutely aware of the critical importance of the support we are providing to survivors facing an uncertain future,” stated Elijah Jacob, executive director of JDC’s India office, and Dr. Nathan Aston, chair of the Indian Jewish community’s Indian Joint Trust. “Drawing from our previous experience responding to these kinds of disasters in India and throughout the region, we are focused on meeting immediate needs, rebuilding more sustainably for future disasters, and upholding the Jewish value for life, especially in the face of such terrible loss.”

As news of the rains, flooding, and landslides grew, JDC’s India team coordinated with the local Jewish community — made up of about 4,500 people — and other NGO partners to devise a response to the devastation.

In the past, JDC’s India team took a lead role in the organization’s responses to the Nepal earthquake in April 2014 and Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004.

Its relief activities are coordinated with the US Department of State, USAID, the Israeli government, Interaction, and the United Nations, as well as local and international partners.

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