Haiti Relief Update on URJ Allocations

January 26, 2010

Rabbi Marla Feldman is the Director of Development for the Union for Reform Judaism. This posit originally appeared on RJ.org.

In one week, the Reform Movement has raised more than $750,000 for Haiti disaster relief efforts following the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Based on our communication with partner relief organizations, the following allocations will be made to support emergency relief efforts including rescue work, emergency medical care, temporary shelter and food and water distribution. In the coming weeks, additional Union allocations will fund longer-term recovery efforts.


    Direct Relief International provides medical assistance to improve the quality of life for people affected by poverty, disaster and civil unrest. Funds will underwrite a key DRI staff position, Haiti Emergency Response Coordinator. This on-the-ground coordinator is responsible for emergency efforts including the distribution of medical material goods, site assessment for medical distribution supplies and the coordination with their two partner agencies: Partners in Health and Damian Pediatric Hospital.
    The UN Foundation, the Union's partner in our Nothing But Nets campaign, is working with the United Nation's Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which plays a central role in the coordination of immediate relief and response work in Haiti. Union funds will assist in CERF's general emergency response efforts, which include the distribution of medical services and supplies, clean water and sanitation access, emergency shelters, food delivery and infrastructure rehabilitation. In addition, after the immediate relief and response, CERF will continue its efforts to include medium-term recovery and long-term reconstruction.
    AJWS provides general emergency relief grants that meet the immediate needs of communities affected by the disaster. Partnering with community-based agencies within Haiti, a particular focus is being placed on communities directly affected by the earthquake that lay outside areas already targeted for large-scale relief such as Port-au-Prince. One such organization is MOSCTHA, the Socio-Cultural Movement of Haitian Workers. Funds are needed to fully fund MOSCTHA's mobile clinic, which provides weekly medicine and personal hygiene supplies to more than 5,000 families that are receiving little-to-no emergency support in rural areas. This NGO was a recipient of prior relief funds from the Union during the hurricanes that struck Haiti several years ago.
    IRC is a global network of first responders who work together to provide access to safety, sanctuary and sustainable change for individuals shattered by natural disasters, violence and oppression. IRC draws on 75 years of experience responding to emergencies and is collaborating with local Haitian partners to provide general emergency response assistance to those in need. Funds will be used to rehabilitate damaged clinics, establish mobile clinics, distribute food, water and water storage containers and dispense basic shelter materials including sheets, blankets, hygiene items and roofing sheets. This grant is funded by the Union and facilitated jointly with the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief.
  • UNICEF, $25,000
    UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. In coordination with other UN agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent, UNICEF is responding to the emergency needs of women and children in Haiti. General funding will provide basic medical and health supplies, kitchen kits, water purification tablets, sanitation supplies, tarpaulins and tents for temporary shelter.
    To date, over $10,000 CAD has been raised by the Canadian Council of Reform Judaism (CCRJ). The first allocation of funds from the CCRJ will go to United Israel Appeal Canada for its support of IsraAid, the coalition of Israeli NGO disaster relief specialists. Fund proceeds qualify for Canadian government matching dollars. IsraAid personnel currently are providing medical assistance to the injured as part of a major Israeli relief effort.. In light of the generous outpouring of support for its efforts, IsraAid will be expanding the scale of its operation, preparing an additional team that will be sent shortly. Within minutes of landing at the airport, the volunteer medical professionals from IsraAid traveled to the main Port-au- Prince Hospital, where they joined local doctors at the collapsed facility, to treat thousands of wounded and desperate earthquake victims.

To donate to the URJ's Haiti disaster relief efforts and to learn more about allocations, visit urj.org/relief.

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