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JDC Presents People of Gondar Province in Ethiopia with Symbolic Key for a Health Center

The people of the Ethiopian province of Gondar were today presented with a symbolic key for a health center in Tedar from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. It was accepted on their behalf by the Ethiopian Ambassador to the United Nations, Berhanu Dinka.

The Ambassador, in turn, presented the JDC with a plaque “in recognition of your humanitarian service in Ethiopia in 1985.” It was presented to JDC president Heinz Eppler on behalf of Danit Wolde Giorgis, chief commissioner of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian equivalent of the Red Cross.

Eppler accepted the plaque on behalf of American Jewry, which he noted is the primary source of funds for the JDC efforts. The bulk of the JDC’s work extending to more than a half million people in more than 30 countries, is supported by the campaign of the United Jewish Appeal/Federation through the JDC regular budget.

The presentation of the key to the recently completed health clinic in Tedar in Gondar province was made during a luncheon at the 71st annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the JDC attended by about 200 persons at the Grand Hyatt Hotel here.

The health center is scheduled to serve primarily as an outpatient clinic, although it will also house a small hospital and pharmacy and will act as a training center for health attendants and village health workers. A second health center is under construction in Gondar City.

OVER $4.3 MILLION IN CONTRIBUTIONS

The JDC, after opening its mailbox for donations from the American Jewish community for Ethiopian relief, had received more than 25,000 contributions totalling altogether more than $4.3 million during its first year of relief effort, including $2.2 million in cash and $2.1 million in donated supplies.

In acknowledging JDC efforts in Ethiopia, the Ambassador expressed hope that the JDC will continue to expand its programs there and aid in bettering conditions of Ethiopians who have been devastated by drought and famine in the past years. He estimated that nearly six million people will be suffering next year from shortages of critical food and supplies.

ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF ISRAEL’S ELDERLY

Yesterday Israeli Health Minister Mordechai Gur urged the JDC to “fulfill its traditions in helping Israel’s aged.” Speaking to a special JDC luncheon here, Gur called this “a pivotal time” as a law before Israeli’s Knesset addresses “the growing needs of Israel’s aged, for care on the community level, care in the home and quality care in institutions, and JDC’s involvement now is vital.”

During the Board of Governors meeting, the JDC adopted a $51.2 million 1986 budget and reaffirmed the JDC commitment to Jews and Jewish communities worldwide. Heinz Eppler of Palm Beach was re-elected JDC president, Henry Taub of Tenafly, N.J. was reelected JDC chairman of the Board, and Dr. Saul Cohen of New York was re-elected executive vice president.

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