Indonesian, Sri Lankan, and Indian Emergency Management and Relief Experts in Israel

January 11th, 2016

Project Interchange U.S.: Myra Clark-Siegel,
Project Interchange Israel: Avital Leibovich,

Indonesian, Sri Lankan, and Indian Emergency Management and Relief Experts in Israel
AJC Project Interchange Program Focus on Best Practices with Israeli Counterparts

January 11, 2016 – (Jerusalem, Israel) – Project Interchange, in coordination with AJC’s Asia-Pacific Institute, is hosting a delegation of emergency management and relief professionals from Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka in Israel for a week of knowledge-sharing with their Israeli counterparts. Sri Lanka and Indonesia faced one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history with the 2004 tsunami which killed over 230,000 and affected the coasts of most of the landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean. Israeli teams of first-responders quickly sent tons of aid and relief supplies to Indonesia and Sri Lanka, despite the absence of diplomatic ties between Indonesia and Israel. In addition, with one of the densest population centers in the world, New Delhi participants will be able to focus on emergency preparedness in large urban areas.

Long respected for its emergency preparedness and trauma response protocols, Israel can serve as a model of best practices with countries impacted by natural or man-made disasters. Israeli physicians, first-responders, and mental health workers have developed world-renowned expertise gained through deployments on humanitarian missions such as the tsunami in Asia and the Haitian earthquake, and trauma experience over decades in the battlefield and terror attacks in Israel. Israeli first responders have shared this expertise with scores of hospitals, doctors, and response professionals around the world.

While every country has unique needs, Israel has developed many transferable programs and approaches to emergency planning and post-disaster preparedness which can be replicated and implemented within the countries represented in this delegation. Discussions will also center on the Israeli approach to clean up and restoration of normalcy in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, a practice frequently cited as helping promote resiliency and calm amongst civilians after any disaster or societal trauma.

Throughout their stay, participants will visit Israel’s hospitals, emergency rooms and trauma relief centers, and meet with experts who organize emergency preparedness and trauma response programs. Additional sessions on the itinerary include a discussion about the use of data to predict and prevent disasters, Israel’s emergency planning policy, humanitarian aid and emergency response initiatives, and insights into the history, culture, diversity and current political landscape of Israel and the region.

Delegation participants are well-experienced in their countries’ emergency relief programs and have greatly contributed to their communities. Their collective accomplishments include rescue management work with the Royal British Army, serving over 15,000 village communities through Sri Lanka’s largest development NGO, and coordination with disaster management activities at UN and World Bank events via the World Economic Forum.

Like all Project Interchange seminars, the delegation will travel much of Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Sderot, and various historical and religious sites. Participants will meet and engage with a diverse range of Israeli, Arab Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as well as representatives of the Asia Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This seminar was made possible by the generous support of the Edward M. Chase Educational Fund.

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AJC’s Project Interchange
For over 30 years, Project Interchange, a nonprofit educational institute of AJC (American Jewish Committee) has brought over 6,000 influential figures to Israel from 89 countries and all 50 U.S. states, offering them broad exposure and firsthand understanding of the complex issues facing Israel and the region. For more, visit

The Edward M. Chase Educational Fund was established pursuant to the Estate of Edward M. Chase, an immigrant who settled in New England, and both in his life-time and through his Will, supported numerous philanthropies.