(2011 - Present)
MASHAV, 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:
Eye Camp in Zambia
In May 2014, a medical delegation comprised of two leading Israeli ophthalmologists and a nurse recently returned from a 10-day eye camp to Zambia.
During the mission, the Israeli team together with the local medical staff, screened over 1,000 patients and performed sight restoring cataract surgery at the premises of Mpika hospital, located some 900 kilometers from the capital Lusaka. The eye camp was jointly organized by MASHAV and Zambia’s Honorary Consul in Israel, Ms. Ronit Herskovitz, and is an outcome of a fact finding mission conducted last year to assess the prevalence of eye disease in the area.
Agricultural Cooperation in Georgia
A joint agricultural project is taking place in Georgia in the field of potatoes crops including preparation of seeds, planting, harvest, irrigation, post harvest and processing.
The Rural Economic Development Project (RED), a joint enterprise between Georgia’s Agriculture Ministry, MASHAV, DANIDA and SDC, is taking place in two areas in Southern Georgia and includes capacity building for extension officers. Within this framework, an Israeli agricultural expert arrived in Georgia to conduct a short-term consultation.
Potatoes are considered the main crop and one of staple food items in Georgia. This activity is another representation of the cooperation existing between Israel and Georgia in the area of capacity building in agriculture.
Cooperation Agreement with Central America
The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and MASHAV signed a Cooperation Agreement with the purpose of broadening ties in fields where Israel has relevant expertise acquired during its own development experience (October 11, 2013).
Cooperation between CABEI and MASHAV will concentrate mainly in the fields of Agriculture, Education, and Small and Medium Enterprises development through courses in Israel and on-site, in addition to short and long term consultancies carried out by Israeli experts. In this context, CABEI will serve as a means to enhance the effectiveness of MASHAV´s development assistance in the region, by creating synergies through CABEI´s financing activities to benefit larger scale projects in its beneficiary member countries.
CABEI is the Development Bank for Central America, and the strategic partner and leading resources provider of the region, focused on improving the quality of life of Central American communities by promoting economic and social balanced development, regional integration and the sustainable use of its natural resources.
CABEI´s Executive President Dr. Nick Rischbieth stated at the signing ceremony: “As the principal source of multilateral funding in the region, and as the financial arm of the Central American integration, we are most pleased with the signing of this agreement which will greatly benefit our member countries, drawing on the noted success of MASHAV´s aid programs, and CABEI´s solid presence in the region.”
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.
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.
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.