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J. D. C. Provided Assistance to 166,900 Jews Overseas During Past Year

September 17, 1956
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Joint Distribution Committee has provided assistance to 166,900 needy Jews in Israel, Europe and the Moslem countries during 1955, it was reported today by the JDC headquarters.

The largest group aided-99,135–were Jews in the Moslem world, including Algeria, Iran, Morocco, Tangier, Tunisia and others. In these countries nearly one of every five Jewish men, women and children received JDC’s help, the report says Major JDC programs in the Moslem world included cultural and religious assistance to more than 71,000, feeding for 37,395; medical aid, 24,760; child care, 8,890 vocational training, through the ORT, 5,550; and other aid.

The report also indicates the continued assistance provided by Malben, JDC’s welfare program on behalf of aged, ill and handicapped newcomers to Israel. In 1955 the program aided 20,105 men, women and children in a network of old age homes, hospitals, sanitaria, sheltered workshops and other institutions throughout the Jewish State. Among those aided were 2,543 in homes for the aged and 1,293 in TB institutions in addition, nearly 5,000 individuals benefited through Malben reconstruction loans.

The report also shows that 2,222,000 pounds of surplus foodstuffs donated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture were distributed to needy individuals in seven countries during the year. The food distribution by JDC was carried on in France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and Yugoslavia. Principal items in the distribution included butter, cheese, powdered milk and cottonseed oil, the latter item being distributed for the first time. A monthly average of nearly 70,000 people benefited from the U.S.D.A. surplus. These figures include institutional feeding and direct donations, but do not include summer camp or emergency distributions.

In a foreword to the report, Moses. A. Leavitt, JDC executive vice-chairman, notes that in North Africa, while emigration has already resulted in a decrease of the Jewish population, it has not, however, affected the number of those still requiring JDC assistance. The reason for this, he declares, is that “the economic crisis and political unrest have apparently displaced more groups from normal live than emigration could absorb.”

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