JDC's director of communications, Michael Geller, told JNS.org that reports on the ground in Nepal present a "dire situation" that has been exacerbated by Nepal's challenging weather, difficult terrain, and deep poverty.
"This is the worst earthquake of its kind in 80 years for Nepal, and it is happening in a country that has other challenges it was dealing with before the earthquake like poverty.
So the combination of these factors can create a very harrowing situation on the ground," said Geller
main goal during the emergency stage, Geller
said, is to "ensure that aid is given to the people as quickly as possible.
The personnel at the IDF field hospital, he
said, have "proven that they are effectively able to get into disaster zones quickly and treat people."
In the longer-term, JDC's
mission the "restoration of livelihood," which includes setting up schools, medical care, post-traumatic support, and disaster mitigation, according to Geller
"We work with local communities, municipalities, and volunteer organizations in the countries where the disaster has happened to help them help themselves and ensure that when the next disaster happens, they can organize an effective response," he
praised the American Jewish community for "coming together to support the people of Nepal," noting the outpouring of support and inquiries about JDC's
"I think that is one of the outstanding features of the Jewish community, its ability to come together and respond to crises and to show its dedication to tikkun olam (repairing the world)," he