It is well-known that Israeli-developed products are in wide use throughout the world – but how many know that Israel also provides ongoing aid and services in dozens of countries?
The fact is that the massive Israeli aid has barely been on the map – until now. Israel21c has prepared a map showing the many locations that Israeli aid reaches, and the many different types of aid Israel provides. A hint of the extent of Israeli help throughout the world is found in the map's "table of contents," which begins as follows: Disaster Relief – 25, Medical – 20, Environment – 13. In addition, Israeli psychological help has reached nine different places, as well as education help in (at least) two more.
The most recent aid package is to South America, where Israel’s embassies in Paraguay and Uruguay are currently organizing donations of humanitarian-relief supplies for families displaced by the severe floods that have impacted tens of thousands of citizens. The two embassies have purchased, and are distributing, over $20,000 worth of emergency supplies.
Scrolling randomly down the "Disaster Relief" section of the map brings one to Myanmar, in southeast Asia. This past August, the local Israeli Embassy distributed food, medicines, mosquito nets and hygiene packs to many of the nearly 1.3 million people suffering from monsoon flooding.
For each location, the map also provides links to the country in question and to a detailed report on the Israeli aid.
The map highlights overlooked news reports, such as this tidbit somehow largely overlooked in the international media coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis: The dramatic rescue operation of 11 Syrian and Iraqi refugees by Israeli sailors. The refugees' boat had capsized in the Mediterranean, and Israeli sailing club members who happened to be in the area – near the Greek island of Kastelórizo - pulled them out of the water and saved their lives.
In the "medical" section of the map, we find the precise location in Bucharest, Romania where an Israeli medical team helped local doctors treat 140 victims of a deadly nightclub fire, this past November. Other locations where citizens were helped by Israeli medical teams of late include Cameroon, Syria, Taiwan, Indonesia, Peru, and more.
Environmental help from Israel includes a bio-digester, made by the Israeli company HomeBiogas, which is converting organic waste into clean renewable energy at the Buvundya Orphanage in Uganda. Last April, Israeli company Gigawatt Global began planning a 7.5-megawatt solar PV field to produce enough electricity for 60,000 households in Burundi’s Gitega region. Only 4% of Burundi's population has residential access to electricity.
Other items noted on the map: Last March, IsraAID offered a psychosocial support training program for Ebola victims and their families in West Africa. Educationally, IsraAid ran a youth leadership program for students from Japan’s Tohoku earthquake affected region in 2012.
It should be remembered that this past November, in a Muslim terrorist attack in a hotel in Mali in West Africa, among the 20 victims was Shmuel Ben-Hallel, of the Israeli town Tzur Hadassah, who was advising the country on educational matters.
The map was developed by Israel21c on the mapme.com platform.
"At Israel21c we cover so many stories about Israeli aid worldwide, but it's something that is almost completely overlooked in the world's media. The whole notion of Tikkun Olam – Repairing the world – is so firmly embedded in Israeli culture and you will find individuals and organizations all over the country doing extraordinary work to help people in poorer nations," said Nicky Blackburn, the editor of Israel21c.
"We wanted to bring that together in one place. To show everyone the incredible range and breadth of the aid going out across the world. Israel receives so much negative press and yet the country does so much to help people everywhere. This is what we wanted to highlight. It's a map that Israel can be very proud of."