NEW YORK (JTA) — The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is organizing relief efforts in response to a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador that has killed at least 272 people and injured more than 2,500.
The New York-based JDC said in a statement released Monday that it has begun assessing needs and coordinating relief efforts with the Ecuador Jewish community and Heart to Heart International focusing on medical care, medical supply provision, and water purification efforts.
In addition to the group’s response in Ecuador, a $25,000 JDC grant for emergency supplies including food and non-food items was made to JDC’s longstanding partner, the Japanese humanitarian agency JEN, to aid people impacted by the recent earthquakes in the Kumamoto province.
“As devastating images from Ecuador surface, JDC extends its deepest condolences and joins our partners to deploy a speedy response that ensures relief to survivors at their greatest time of need,” JDC CEO Alan Gill said in a statement. “Our response in Ecuador, and in Japan, are proud expressions of the Jewish value of tikkun olam, repairing the world, and are fortuitous as we lead up to the Passover holiday when we celebrate our redemption from great odds. May all those impacted by these crises experience the same solace and strength that can be found in family and community.”
JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. The organization coordinates its relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction and the United Nations.
Donations for these efforts can be made at www.jdc.org/ecuador<http://www.jdc.org/ecuador.