AJC Supports IsraAID Colombian Flood Relief Disaster Efforts

April 25th, 2017

While the delegation was in Israel, devastating mudslides in Colombia killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands. During an emergency briefing on the mudslides and rescue efforts with the delegation and Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID, AJC announced its partnership with IsraAID, to assist victims of the mudslides in Colombia.

Pictured above are Avital Leibovich, AJC Jerusalem Director and Voni Glick, Co-CEO of IsraAID at the AJC aid announcement).

Below is the AJC announcement of the partnership with IsraAID:


April 4, 2017 – Jerusalem, Israel – AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization, announced today that it is partnering with IsraAid, the Israeli humanitarian relief group, to assist victims of the landslides in Mocoa, Colombia. The announcement took place at IsraAid’s headquarters in the presence of a delegation of 12 renowned Colombian journalists and opinion leaders currently in Israel with AJC Project Interchange

“We thank AJC and IsraAid for this initiative to help those who have suffered this humanitarian tragedy in Mocoa, Putumayo,” said Hassan Nassar, Director of La FM. “As a media executive, I think this is a good opportunity to build bridges so that through these organizations we can help this vulnerable population. We hope that we can work on many more initiatives in the future.”

The overflow of three rivers has left more than 270 people dead. While rescuers continue to search for survivors, the devastation caused by mud, rocks and gushing waters has left many of the 43,000 people in the area without electricity or running water.

“We express our solidarity with the Colombian people in this difficult moment, and we mourn with those who lost loved ones,” said Dina Siegel Vann, director of AJC’s Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs (BILLA). “We pray for the recovery of the many injured and for everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Aiding Colombia is the latest in a long series of cooperative arrangements between AJC and IsraAid to help alleviate humanitarian crises and disasters around the world. IsraAid often is one of the first non-governmental groups to reach the site of a disaster, no matter the distance from Israel, and provide urgently needed assistance.

AJC’s donation will provide for urgently needed supplies and technical assistance to help rebuild communities and solve health and hygiene problems due to the landslides in Colombia.

The Colombian journalists and opinion leaders visiting Israel are participating in an educational seminar to learn firsthand about the country’s reality and its surroundings, and to exchange experiences, knowledge and opinions about the conflicts affecting both countries.

The program is jointly organized by AJC Project Interchange, in cooperation with the Confederation of Jewish Communities of Colombia and AJC’s BILLA.

Participants include Andrea Aguilar (Foreign News Editor of Radio Caracol), Oscar Mario Correa Toro (Director of Teleantioquia), Susana De Leon Caro (Columnist), María Jimena Duzan (Host of Semana en Vivo), Alejandro Eder (Executive Director of FDI Pacifico), Andrés Hurtado (Professor, Champagnat School of the Marist Brothers), Angelica Maria Lagos (International Editor of El Espectador), Juan David Laverde Palma (Journalist with Noticias Caracol), Hassan Nassar (Director of La FM, RCN Radio), Frank Pearl (Economist), and José Manuel Restrepo (President of the University of Rosario). George Levy (President of the Confederation of Jewish Communities of Colombia), Juan Dircie (Associate Director of BILLA), and Marcos Peckel (Executive Director of the Confederation of Jewish Communities of Colombia) are accompanying the delegation.

The group has a packed schedule, traveling and meeting with experts throughout Israel, including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and visits to Israel’s borders with Syria and the Gaza Strip. As part of their itinerary, the delegation is meeting with international press correspondents and Israeli officials, with whom they will discuss issues regarding Israel’s political, economic and social reality. As with most Project Interchange delegations, the participants also will travel to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian leaders, who will present their views on the conflict and prospects for peace with Israel.

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The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Project Interchange.