When disaster strikes around the world, Israel is always one of the first responders. The massive 7.8 earthquake in Nepal on April 25th killed over 4,000 people and injured over 8,000 more. Tens of thousands of people are homeless, and the United Nations estimates that 1.4 million people are in need of food after the earthquake. A handful of countries have already sent teams of rescue workers and supplies to Nepal, and once again Israel is on the front lines of the relief effort.
A day after the earthquake, 260 members of the Israel Defense Forces flew to Nepal with a cargo plane full of medical supplies and emergency equipment. The IDF and a team from Magen David Adom (the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross) will set up a field hospital and contribute to search and rescue efforts. Other Israeli non-profit disaster relief organizations are also on their way to Nepal.
Hundreds of Israelis were in Nepal at the time of the earthquake. Many were hiking and mountain climbing, and some are yet to be accounted for as dead or alive. Also in Nepal were Israeli parents and their 26 babies, recently born to Nepalese surrogate mothers. Any Israelis wishing to leave Nepal will be flown home by the IDF.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent this message to the people of Nepal:
“Israel feels the pain of the disaster that struck your country. The state of Israel will make available emergency, rescue and medical assistance. The first such team left already tonight. We will help look for those and treat the wounded. On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I send our condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded. The state of Israel and its citizens stands by your side in this moment.”
For more news about Israel’s relief efforts in Nepal, click here.