MASHAV: Recent Accomplishments
(2011 - 2012)
MASHAV, Hebrew acronym for Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation, is the body responsible for coordinating Israel’s official humanitarian program. In such humanitarian cases arise, MASHAV is able to use its vast experience in crisis response to rapidly dispatch needed assistance to countries in crises.
The following is a short overview of recent activities:
Flooding in El Salvador
The heavy tropical rains that hit El Salvador in late October 2011 caused severe floods and landslides, and a state of emergency was declared. As the rains abated and the floodwaters receded, the damage to water and sanitation facilities was evident, and people returning to their communities face a serious shortage of clean water. In face of this humanitarian crisis, the Israeli Embassy in El Salvador, in cooperation with MASHAV and the Latin American Department at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, donated 22 water purifiers (each for 45,000 liters), which were installed in education and community centers in the affected region of Bajo Lempa.
Headquarters Visit to Ethiopia
Head of MASHAV Ambassador Daniel Carmon has returned (Nov. 2011) from a headquarters visit to Ethiopia. During his stay Ambassador Carmon received updated briefings regarding the progress of MASHAV’s projects in Ethiopia, and held professional meetings with high level officials of the government of Ethiopia and with MASHAV’s copartners from Germany (GIZ) and the United States (USAID).
Fishing Updates in Kenya
A delegation from MASHAV comprised of two water and fisheries experts and headed by MASHAV’s Director of Policy Planning and External Relations, met with its German and Kenyan counterparts to examine a trilateral cooperation in the Lake Victoria area, including sustainable ways of protecting the lake’s environment by creating alternative livelihoods for the communities settled around the lake.
Flooding in Thailand
In November 2011, Thailand faced severe floods which affected large parts of the country causing great damages. Following an official request, MASHAV together with Israel’s National Water Company –Mekorot, dispatched a professional task team (Nov. 19th) focusing on draining the water flooding the capital, Bangkok. The Israeli experts will carry out its mission in cooperation with the local authorities. Further on, due to emergency situations following natural disasters, MASHAV has recently also assisted Cambodia, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Drought in Africa
The drought afflicting the Horn of Africa region has left millions at the mercy of hunger, threatening the livelihoods of farmers and putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of children at risk. In response to this crisis, the Government and the people of Israel contributed in October 2011 to the World Food Program (WGP), supporting the delivery of food packages to Somali refugees in Kenya and Ethiopia. One donated emergency food item was especially made for children - known as Corn Soya Chickpeas Blend (CSB Plus), it includes heat treated maize, soya beans, chickpeas, vitamins, and minerals. Israel, through MASHAV, remains committed to provide immediate relief for African nations following major crises, such as the acute humanitarian situation now facing the Horn of Africa.
Fuel-Line Explosion in Kenya
A shipment of medical supplies was sent in September 15th, to Kenya to assist in treating casualties of the devastating fuel-line explosion in which over one hundred people died and hundreds were injured. As details of the disaster became known, Israeli ambassador to Kenya, Gil Haskel, offered Israel’s assistance to the heads of Kenyatta National Hospital, where most of the injured are hospitalized. MASHAV is the body responsible for coordinating Israel’s official humanitarian assistance program. As such, and using its vast experience in crisis response, it rapidly organized and dispatched medical supplies including more than 360 kg of medicines for treating burns, bandaging equipment, infusion sets, ointments and painkillers.
Eyesight Restoration in Uzbekistan
Three Israeli medical experts arrived in Uzbekistan at the beginning of October to perform eye sight restoring missions and consultations. Two ophthalmologists and a technician arrived first in Tashkent and later on continued to Urganch. As part of their mission the Israeli doctors demonstrated the use of the latest technologies in the field. Uzbekistan’s counsellor to the Minister of Health accompanied the Israeli delegation during their mission.
Dairy Husbandry in China
The governments of Israel and of China’s Heilongjiang Province signed in September 2011 a cooperation agreement in the field of Dairy Husbandry. The aim of the agreement is to join efforts to contribute to the achievement of national and institutional goals of agricultural development in the dairy cattle sector. MASHAV will be in charge of implementing professional programs and activities including training and consultancies in dairy husbandry, and transfer of dairy farming technologies and technical assistance.