Relief Efforts Around the World
(1985 - 1997)
From 1985 to 1997, Israel provided many countries with humanitarian aid and relief help.
Earthquake Relief in Mexico
On September 19th and 20th, 1985, two fierce earthquakes
shook Mexico's capital, Mexico City. The earthquakes left in their wake
thousands of homes demolished, in which thousands of people lay trapped.
In the wake of this disaster, it was decided that an IDF relief mission
would be sent to Mexico City, along with tons of humanitarian equipment
medicines and tents, rescue equipment, professional rescue teams
from the IDF's Rescue
Unit and medical
Earthquake Relief in Armenia
On December 7, 1988, a powerful earthquake hit Armenia
and destroyed many towns across the entire country, leaving tens of
thousands dead and injured, and many homeless. Around the world humanitarian
aid missions were assembled, and they assisted the government of the
USSR not only in rescuing and evacuating the injured, but also in distributing
Israel too sent an aid mission, which included a rescue
unit comprised of rescuers, doctors and much needed supplies for the
Terror Relief in Argentina
On March 17, 1992, a powerful bomb blast rocked the
Israeli embassy building in Buenos Aires. The blast caused the collapse
of the four-story building. Twenty-nine people were killed in the explosion
and 250 were injured, many of them buried alive. Israel dispatched a
Homefront Command rescue team and doctors, who were assisted by tracking
dogs. The mission helped to extricate and thereby save the lives of
many people buried under the collapsed building.
Civil War Relief in Rwanda
Bloody civil war broke out in Rwanda in 1994 between
the Hutu and the Tutsi tribes. The fighting cost one million people
their lives. As a result of the war, millions of refugees were concentrated
in refugee camps in neighboring countries. On June 23 the IDF flew a
medical team comprised of doctors, medical staff, medical supplies,
food and clothing to assist the refugees concentrated in proximity to
the city of Goma in Zaire. To ensure the security of the medical team,
a unit of Givati
Brigade soldiers was also sent. Some 270 IDF soldiers and officers
spent 40 days in the field hospital at the refugee camp, and provided
medical and humanitarian aid.
Fire Relief in Turkey
On July 4, 1997, a huge fire broke out in a number
of Turkish arms factories. The Turkish government turned to the The
Israeli Air Force and asked for assistance in putting it out. The
IAF sent assistance in the form of fire-fighting helicopters and sophisticated
equipment. With the Israeli aid, Turkish efforts to put out the fire,
which was threatening to engulf the adjacent city, were successful.
The IAF received much praise for the successful aid.
Eye From Zion
The Eye From Zion organization is a group of Israeli doctors who volunteer their time free of charge to provide emergency medical treatments to underpriveleged peoples around the globe. The doctors perform surgeries along with local medical teams, and provide hope for underserved and impoverished individuals. The Eye From Zion has run many relief missions to since 2007, and has served people from China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and the Maldives.
In August 2015 the Eye From Zion organization travelled to Kyrgyzstan and performed restorative optical procedures on 90 individuals. The doctors performed cataract surgeries, tumor removals, cornea surgeries, and various plastic surgeries on the grateful patients.
Sources: Israeli Defense Forces
“Israeli Doctors Restore Sight to 90 Kyrgyzstanis in 'Eye From Zion' Initiative,” Algemeiner (August 26, 2015)