In the face of the rapidly growing refugee crisis in Europe, IsraAID has been in contact with some of the most affected states, primarily Greece and Italy, to support local efforts on the ground to provide immediate humanitarian aid.
As of September 2015, more than 300,000 refugees and migrants – Muslims, Yazidis and Christians – have attempted the treacherous crossing into Europe, with already more than 2,600 dying in the process this year alone. In the midst of this exodus, European states are completely overwhelmed, and are struggling to deal with the sudden and massive upsurge in the sheer numbers of refugees. Entire families arrive in Europe tired, sick, and traumatized, devoid of any belongings, and carrying the burdens and scars of years of conflict.
In the face of this rapidly growing crisis, IsraAID has been in discussions with some of the most affected states, primarily Greece and Italy, to support local efforts on the ground to provide immediate aid (mainly food, clothes, medicine, and hygiene kits). IsraAID will also conduct psychosocial training for the governmental and non-governmental professionals on the frontlines of the refugee crisis in the affected countries, providing them with the tools needed to support and care for a population that has gone through extreme suffering and trauma. In addition, such training will also enable those first responders on the front line to avoid burnout and secondary trauma through self-care and other coping mechanisms. IsraAID will coordinate its efforts on the ground with local NGOs, the Red Cross, and government officials.
IsraAID volunteers assist refugee children at the Serbia-Hungary border affected by tear gas
Update (September 20): On the Greek island of Lesbos, where over 15 boatloads of refugees arrive daily, IsraAID volunteers rescued people whose boat overturned and provided sleeping bags for those forced to sleep on the ground.
IsraAID volunteer helps rescue refugees on the island of Lesbos after their boat overturned
IsraAID provides sleeping bags for refugees in Lesbos
IsraAID has been actively responding to the needs of Syrian refugees and their host countries for over two years now, focusing on Jordan, Iraq, and Bulgaria. Ranging from emergency aid distributions to pinpointed trauma support and prevention training for host country government and non-government professionals, the organization has extensive expertise and experience in the management of crises triggered by refugees. In addition, IsraAID has been extending aid to the Christian and Yazidi refugees of Iraq who have suffered extreme persecution at the hands of ISIS.
Distributing aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan
IsraAID, founded in 2001, is Israel’s leading humanitarian non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to providing life-saving disaster relief and long term support. For over a decade, its teams of professional medics, search & rescue squads, post-trauma experts and community mobilizers, have been first on the front lines of nearly every major humanitarian response in the 21st century, reaching over 1 million people in 25 countries. IsraAID offers training and support programs in both developed and developing countries using Israel’s unique know-how in the fields of psychosocial support, education, agriculture and health. Today, IsraAID conducts on-going training programs in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Haiti, Kenya, Jordan and South Sudan.