Israeli aid agency helps UK flood victims

January 5, 2016  

An Israeli humanitarian aid agency has dispatched a disaster relief team to assist flood victims in northern England, the UK-based Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported Tuesday. 

Four volunteers from the IsraAID charity arrived in London on Monday and set off for Leeds to begin work on repairing homes and distributing necessities to the hardest hit areas.

Shachar Zahavi, IsraAid’s founding director, told the JC, “the team has already met with small independent initiatives across the north that are delivering food, gutting houses, and helping to rebuild their homes.”

“Our volunteers will assist with the current effort being carried out and use our experience in these disasters to work out what more we can do and how.”

While IsraAid usually responds to natural disasters in developing countries, Zahavi noted it was not unusual for the charity to dispatch a team to aid in floods of the scale that have hit England. 

“We have responded to 10 floods and tornado disasters in the US and when we saw what was happening to the UK in the news it looked worse than ever before,” he explained. “We wanted to show the community we would be there for them.”

“We got in touch with the Jewish communities around the north of England and they told us about the independent NGOs working on the ground. We contacted them and arranged to send our team to help they said yes and here we are.”

Zahavi said the first teem was “greeted by locals with open hands,” and another five volunteers are waiting to be sent from Israel after IsraAid determines the “best things we can do to help.”

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