Israeli NGO sends relief workers to Pacific island in wake of cyclone

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli NGO IsraAID has sent a team of relief workers to the small Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, which suffered extensive damage from Cyclone Pam.

A team reportedly arrived Sunday in the resort town of Eratap in order to see first-hand the damage and meet with the local leadership, including the island’s chief. Another team visited the capital of Port Villa to coordinate with other agencies and the island’s government.

Vanuatu was struck by a category 5 tropical cyclone, called Cyclone Pam, on March 13.

IsraAid reportedly sent its first team of relief workers on March 15.  Relief efforts are being funded in part by the American Jewish Committee.

In December 2014, IsraAID provided relief in the Philippines in the wake of a deadly typhoon, Typhoon Ruby, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Hagupit, which left at least 21 people dead and displaced more than 1.6 million Filipinos.

In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, a 147-member medical and humanitarian mission from the Israel Defense Forces spent nearly two weeks running a field hospital in Bogo City. Israel also delivered more 100 tons of humanitarian and medical supplies for typhoon victims.