United Hatzalah from Israel fighting severe shortage of food and insulin in Moldova

United Hatzalah sends first cargo plane with 16 tons of humanitarian aid and medical supplies

Raphael Poch, Special For The Jewish Light

(Chisinau) – Responding to a direct request from the government of Moldova and the Jewish Community in Chisinau, United Hatzalah has begun a series of airlifts of humanitarian aid that will carry medications, food, and baby formula, from Israel to Moldova, a country that has absorbed tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

Early Tuesday morning, in cooperation with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and Former Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Joel Lion, the first plane carrying 16 tons of humanitarian aid and medical supplies flying directly from Israel to Moldova landed in Chisinau and unloaded the supplies which were then transferred to sorting centers to be given out to refugees.

The severe shortage developed due to the influx of refugees coming across the border from Ukraine and taking refuge in and around the capital city of Chisinau. The Jewish community, and the municipality in general, suffered a severe shortage of supplies due to the refugee crisis.

United Hatzalah

Photo: United Hatzalah
Photo: United Hatzalah

Rabbi Pinchas Saltzman, the Chief Rabbi of Chisinau sent urgent letters to United Hatzalah asking for assistance in supplying medications, kosher food, baby formula, hygienic supplies, blankets, and clothes.

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“Over the past two weeks, we have received tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees and have supplied them with all of their basic needs including, lodging, food, transportation, medications, and more. We direly need additional assistance from United Hatzalah, in addition to the incredible humanitarian mission that is already active on the ground. Our current needs include additional dry goods, kosher meat, medications, blankets, clothing, games for children, and personal hygiene products,” wrote Elena Kovliova, director of Agudath Yisroel in Moldova on behalf of Rabbi Saltzman.

The Administrative Director of the Jewish Community of Moldova, Mr. Alexander Kleinerman also sent a letter to Deputy Director of International Emergency Operations for United Hatzalah Linor Attias asking for aid. “Since the beginning of the war with Ukraine, the Jewish community of Moldova has been accepting hundreds of refugees every day. We need basic products such as medicines, kosher food, food for babies and children, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, games, bags, and more.”

Photo: United Hatzalah
Photo: United Hatzalah

State Secretary for Moldova, Zinaida Bezverhni wrote a letter on behalf of the Moldovan Health Ministry to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, requesting urgent aid in supplying additional doses of insulin due to the severe shortage which has developed in Moldova. The letter was then received by United Hatzalah who brought that as well over on the plane to be distributed to the refugees in need of the medication in Moldova.

United Hatzalah’s leadership, which in recent weeks has been operating a series of emergency rescue airlifts dubbed, Operation Orange Wings, responded to the requests and initiated a secondary operation to collect and transfer food, medications, and additional humanitarian aid and will be providing it to the Moldovan government and the Jewish community in Chisinau. This first cargo plane, which arrived on Tuesday morning received special permission to land at the Chisinau airport, which has been closed for flights since the outbreak of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine.

Founder and President of United Hatzalah Eli Beer, who is on the ground in Chisinau to oversee the humanitarian and rescue operations taking place said, “United Hatzalah’s Operation Orange Wings is continuing in full force. The Moldovan government and the Jewish community in Chisinau together with a team from United Hatzalah who have been operating in the country over the last two weeks reported a significant shortage of food, medicine, and other equipment needed to supply the increased demand caused by the refugees. We raised donations to help cover the cost of the cargo flights, the first of which landed in Chisinau early this morning, carrying 16 tons of food and medical equipment to help the country and the community here have enough supplies to care for the refugees fleeing the war.”

Beer added that “The plane was organized and landed in Moldova at the height of United Hatzalah’s operations in the country, and that is thanks to the collaborative effort of our logistics department and the Israeli Foreign Ministry, as well as Swiss Fort, Eran Zricker from O.C. Lines Shipping and Orshare Shipping.” Beer added, “As part of Operation Orange Wings, we have returned to Israel more than 1,000 Ukrainian refugees over the past week and a half.”