Israel Foreign Ministry’s actions in the Wake of Nepal Earthquake

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nq02Following is a synopsis of Israel Foreign Ministry activities regarding the major earthquake that struck Nepal.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel has been operating on emergency standing since receiving the first reports of the earthquake that hit Nepal on Shabbos, 6 Iyar 5775, providing assistance to Israelis, Nepalese and others.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel has been operating on emergency standing since receiving the first reports of the earthquake that hit Nepal on Shabbos. The director general has been conducting situation assessments several times a day with Ministry staff and other officials with the goal of providing an immediate and appropriate response to the situation. The Ministry’s Emergency and Crisis Management Center is working with an increased staff around the clock.

The Ministry efforts are directed at providing assistance simultaneously to Israelis, Nepalese and others who were caught up in the disaster:

Israelis:

The Ministry, via the embassy in Kathmandu, is aiding Israelis in the stricken area and is in touch with the families of Israeli travelers who have not yet established contact.

Nepalese and others:

The Ministry is helping to organize emergency humanitarian aid, flights to bring rescue and medical teams to the area, and the establishment of a field hospital.

The Israeli embassy in Kathmandu opened its gates to Israelis seeking shelter. Since Shabbos, more than 150 Israelis have been staying in the embassy grounds. The embassy is attempting to locate, rescue and aid other Israelis currently in Nepal. It is not known of any Israelis among the injured (aside from a few with very minor injuries).

Out of hundreds of Israelis currently in Nepal, several dozen are unaccounted for. The Department for Israelis abroad at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem is leading the efforts to establish contact with them. The first Israeli rescue plane, from the Home Front Command, landed in Kathmandu on Sunday (7 Iyar) and brought back to Israel the first group of Israelis, including newborn babies.

A Magen David Adom plane landed in Nepal, also on Sunday, and delivered a delegation of doctors and paramedics who settled in at the Chabad House. The plane returned to Israel with another group of Israelis. Ichud Hatzalah and Zaka volunteers have arrived as well.

Three air force planes – two cargo and one passenger – are on the way to Nepal. These planes are loaded with emergency aid and will bring back another group of Israelis.

Two El Al planes – one cargo and one passenger – departed on Monday, 8 Iyar, for Nepal. These planes carried a team from the Ministry of Health and a large delegation of IDF Homefront Command staff – more than two hundred doctors, sanitation engineers, machinery technicians and others – as well as medical equipment (portable monitor, oxygen tanks, medical ventilators, medicines, X-ray machines, and resuscitation kit) and engineering equipment. After unloading their cargo, the planes will return to Israel carrying more Israeli travelers.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expending great effort to hire helicopters in order to rescue Israelis trapped in the area.

The Israel Embassy in Delhi is providing considerable support to the aid and rescue efforts. Staff members from the Ministry in Jerusalem as well as from nearby missions were sent to reinforce the forces in the field – among them the Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Pacific, the regional administrative officer for Asia, the New Delhi consul, a security officer, two representatives from the Spokesperson’s Bureau and a communications specialist.

The Division for Asia and the Pacific is in contact with more than 500 Nepalese residing in Israel and is responding to their requests.

A meeting chaired by the MFA Deputy Director-General who heads Israel’s National Agency for International Cooperation (MASHAV) was held on Monday 8 Iyar to discuss the second stage of Israeli aid to Nepal, focusing on long-term assistance.

VIDEO: IDF delegation arrives in Nepal

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)