American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC or Joint) is a worldwide Jewish relief organization headquartered in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. It was established in 1914 and is active in more than 70 countries.

JDC offers aid to Jewish communities around the world through a network of social and community assistance programs. In addition, JDC contributes millions of dollars in disaster relief and development assistance to non-Jewish communities.


JDC finances programs to assist impoverished Jews in the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and Central and Eastern Europe
Central and Eastern Europe
Central and Eastern Europe is a term describing former communist states in Europe, after the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989/90. In scholarly literature the abbreviations CEE or CEEC are often used for this concept...

, providing food, medicine, home care, and other critical aid to elderly Jews and children in need. JDC enables small Jewish populations in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n, Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

n, and Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n countries to maintain essential social services and ensure a Jewish future for their youth. In Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, JDC responds to crisis-related needs while helping to improve services to the elderly, children and youth, new immigrants, the disabled, and other vulnerable populations.

In the spirit of tikkun olam
Tikkun olam
Tikkun olam is a Hebrew phrase that means "repairing the world." In Judaism, the concept of tikkun olam originated in the early rabbinic period...

, a Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 phrase referring to the moral responsibility to repair the world and alleviate suffering, the JDC has contributed funding and expertise in humanitarian crises such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Myanmar cyclone of 2008, the genocide in Darfur, the escalating violence in Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
The 2011 earthquake off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, also known as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, or the Great East Japan Earthquake, was a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake off the coast of Japan that occurred at 14:46 JST on Friday, 11 March 2011, with the epicenter approximately east...

  • When millions of Jews in Eastern Europe and Palestine faced starvation in the wake of the First World War, JDC fed the hungry, provided medical care to the ailing, and supported programs to help stabilize the region’s fragile economy.

  • With the rise of Hitler’s Nazi regime, JDC supported efforts that enabled 110,000 Jews to leave Germany prior to 1939.

  • After the establishment of the state of Israel, JDC supported tens of thousands of Jews as they made the difficult transition from refugee status to citizenship.

  • JDC played a central role in Operation Solomon
    Operation Solomon
    Operation Solomon was a 1991 covert Israeli military operation to take Ethiopian Jews to Israel.In 1991, the sitting Ethiopian government of Mengistu Haile Mariam was close to being toppled with the recent military successes of Eritrean and Tigrean rebels, threatening Ethiopia with dangerous...

    , which airlifted more than 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel in the span of 36 hours.

  • JDC opened up a synogouge in counties such as Greenland
    Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

     (countries with a very small population of Jews).

JDC fulfills its mission on four fronts:
  • Rescue of Jews at risk. JDC’s expertise is crisis response. JDC works with local partner agencies to address immediate needs.

  • Relief for Jews in need. In addition to emergency aid, JDC support builds the capacity of local agencies to sustain and enhance quality of life for struggling communities.

  • Renewal of Jewish community life.

  • Israel. JDC works in partnership with the Israeli government and other local organizations to improve the lives of the elderly, immigrants, children at risk, the disabled, and the chronically unemployed. In 2007, the JDC was awarded the Israel Prize
    Israel Prize
    The Israel Prize is an award handed out by the State of Israel and is largely regarded as the state's highest honor. It is presented annually, on Israeli Independence Day, in a state ceremony in Jerusalem, in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Knesset chairperson, and the...

     for its lifetime achievements and special contribution to society and the State of Israel.


By 1914, approximately 100,000 Jews had settled in Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

, then under Ottoman rule. The settlement—the Yishuv—was largely made up of Jews that had emigrated from Europe and were largely dependent on sources outside Palestine for their income. The outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 destroyed those channels, leaving the community isolated and destitute. With disaster looming, the Yishuv’s leaders appealed to Henry Morgenthau, Sr.
Henry Morgenthau, Sr.
Henry Morgenthau was a lawyer, businessman and United States ambassador, most famous as the American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. He was father of the politician Henry Morgenthau, Jr. and the grandfather of Robert M. Morgenthau, who was the District Attorney of...

, then U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Moved and appalled by the misery he witnessed, Morgenthau sent an urgent cable to New York-based Jewish philanthropist Jacob Schiff
Jacob Schiff
Jacob Henry Schiff, born Jakob Heinrich Schiff was a German-born Jewish American banker and philanthropist, who helped finance, among many other things, the Japanese military efforts against Tsarist Russia in the Russo-Japanese War.From his base on Wall Street, he was the foremost Jewish leader...

, appealing to the American Jewish community for assistance. Dated August 31, 1914, the Western Union telegram read, in part:

The plea found concerned ears in the U.S. In a month, $50,000 (the equivalent of $1 million in the year 2000) was raised through the efforts of what was intended to be an ad hoc and temporary collective of three existing religious and secular Jewish organizations: the American Jewish Relief Committee, the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War, and People’s Relief Committee. JDC was formally established to ensure that relief funds that reached Palestinian Jews were distributed effectively.

The work of the early JDC in Palestine did not end with emergency relief. The organization also sent funds to establish desperately needed institutions, such as orphanages, vocational schools, and facilities for the deaf and blind. Even so, members of JDC regarded the agency as a temporary effort that would cease operations once the relief it provided was no longer required. As the 20th Century unfolded, however, the challenges facing the Jewish people would only grow larger and more pressing.


World War I plunged Eastern Europe into chaos and subjected Jewish communities across the region to intense poverty, famine, and inflamed anti-Semitism. The Russian Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 and other subsequent conflicts fanned the flames further, and pleas for JDC’s humanitarian intervention increased. JDC responded, always looking for opportunities to go beyond emergency food and medical relief to help establish self-sustainable Jewish life.

One innovation was the establishment of loan kassas, cooperative credit institutions that issued low interest loans to Jewish craftsmen and small business owners. From 1924 until 1938, the capital
Financial capital
Financial capital can refer to money used by entrepreneurs and businesses to buy what they need to make their products or provide their services or to that sector of the economy based on its operation, i.e. retail, corporate, investment banking, etc....

 from kassa loans help revitalize villages and towns throughout Eastern Europe.

Not in the new Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, however. The communist leadership outlawed businesses upon which Jews were largely dependent, forcing families into poverty. In 1924, the JDC had helped devise a promising program response to the situation in the Soviet Union. It was called the Agro-Joint.

With the support of the Soviet government, JDC pushed forward with this bold initiative to settle so-called “nonproductive” Jews as farmers on vast agricultural settlements in Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, and the Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

. A special public organisation, the Society for Settling Toiling Jews on the Land, or OZET
OZET was public Society for Settling Toiling Jews on the Land in the Soviet Union in the period from 1925 to 1938. Some English sources use the word "Working" instead of "Toiling".- Background :...

, was established in the Soviet Union for this purpose; it functioned from 1925 to 1938. There was also a special government committee set up, called Komzet
Komzet was the Committee for the Settlement of Toiling Jews on the Land in the Soviet Union. The primary goal of the Komzet was to help impoverished and persecuted Jewish population of the former Pale of Settlement to adopt agricultural labor...

. Its function was to contribute and distribute the land for the Jewish collective farms, and to work jointly with OZET. By 1938, some 70,000 Jews had been resettled.

The success of the Agro-Joint initiative would turn tragic just two years later. Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's government, having grown increasingly hostile to foreign organizations, arrested and subsequently executed 17 Agro-Joint staff members. By 1941, all the settlers who had not already fled were killed by the Nazis.

The Holocaust

European Jewry was pushed to the brink of annihilation by Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

. The severity of the crisis put new, unprecedented demands on the American Jewish community and JDC to respond. The weight of the task was compounded by the wartime reality that JDC could no longer operate legally in those nations where Jews were in the greatest peril. From the outbreak of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 through 1944, JDC made it possible for more than 81,000 Jews to emigrate out of Nazi-occupied Europe to safety.
  • Before the War. Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 was followed closely by passage of Germany’s Nuremberg Laws
    Nuremberg Laws
    The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were antisemitic laws in Nazi Germany introduced at the annual Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party. After the takeover of power in 1933 by Hitler, Nazism became an official ideology incorporating scientific racism and antisemitism...

    , a set of onerous restrictions that stripped Jews of their rights and livelihoods. JDC’s support became critical. Channeling funds through local Jewish relief organizations, JDC subsidized medical care, schools, vocational training, welfare programs, and early emigration efforts. JDC support would eventually be extended to Jewish communities in Nazi-annexed Austria
    Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

     and occupied Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

    . It wasn’t long before the escalation of Hitler’s persecution of the Jews made emigration aid JDC’s priority. The group provided emergency aid for stranded refugees; covered travel expenses and landing fees; and secured travel accommodations and all-important visas for countries of refuge. By the end of 1939, JDC-supported organizations had helped some 110,000 Jews emigrate from Germany—30,000 in 1939 alone.

  • Securing Safe Havens. By 1940, JDC was helping refugees in transit in more than 40 countries. The goal was to provide refugees life-sustaining aid while trying to secure permanent refuge for them in the United States, Palestine, and Latin America. A Jewish agricultural settlement was founded with JDC funding in Sosua
    Sosúa is a small town in the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic. Located approximately from the Puerto Plata International Airport , the town is accessed primarily by Camino Cinco, or Highway 5, which runs much of the length of the country's North coastline...

    , in the Dominican Republic
    Dominican Republic
    The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

    . Another JDC operation was the 1939 cross-Atlantic passage of the SS St. Louis
    SS St. Louis
    The MS St. Louis was a German ocean liner most notable for a single voyage in 1939, in which her captain, Gustav Schröder, tried to find homes for 937 German Jewish refugees after they were denied entry to Cuba. The event was the subject of a 1974 book, Voyage of the Damned, by Gordon Thomas and...

    . With some 900 German Jewish refugees onboard, the St. Louis made its way to Cuba
    The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

    , only to be denied entry into the country. JDC’s round-the-clock negotiations opened European doors to the passengers, saving many, although some would eventually perish as Germany advanced into formerly “safe” countries. The episode was dramatized in the 1975 feature film, Voyage of the Damned
    Voyage of the Damned
    Voyage of the Damned is the title of a 1974 book written by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts, which was the basis of a 1976 drama film with the same title.The story was inspired by true events concerning the fate of the MS St...


  • The Outbreak of War: JDC Becomes a Clandestine Organization. JDC continued its efforts with the outbreak of World War II, opening shelters and soup kitchens for thousands of Jewish refugees in Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

    , aiding some 600,000 in 1940. It also subsidized hospitals, child care centers, and educational and cultural programs. Even Passover
    Passover is a Jewish holiday and festival. It commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt...

     supplies were shipped in. With U.S. entry into the war following Pearl Harbor
    Pearl Harbor
    Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

    , JDC had to drastically shift gears. No longer permitted to operate legally in enemy countries, JDC representatives exploited a variety of international connections to channel aid to Jews living in desperate conditions under the shroud of Nazism. Wartime headquarters was set up in Lisbon, Portugal. From there, JDC chartered ships and funded rescue missions that successfully moved thousands of refugees out of harm’s way. Some made it to Shanghai
    Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

    , China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    , where JDC sponsored a relief program for 15,000 refugees from Central and Eastern Europe. In Europe, JDC directed funds to support 7,000 Jewish children in hiding and helped more than 1,000 more emigrate to Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

     and Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

    . JDC also smuggled aid to Jewish prisoners in labor camps and helped finance the Polish Jewish underground in preparations for the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto
    Warsaw Ghetto
    The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all Jewish Ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. It was established in the Polish capital between October and November 15, 1940, in the territory of General Government of the German-occupied Poland, with over 400,000 Jews from the vicinity...


Rescue of survivors

Allied victory offered no guarantee that the tens of thousands of newly liberated Jews would survive to enjoy the fruits of freedom. To stave off mass starvation, JDC marshaled its resources, instituting an ambitious purchasing and shipping program to provide urgent necessities for Holocaust survivors facing critical local shortages. More than 227 million pounds of food, medicine, clothing, and other supplies were shipped to Europe from U.S. ports.

By late 1945, 75,000 Jewish survivors of the Nazi horrors had crowded into hastily set up displaced persons (DP) camps throughout Germany, Austria, and Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. Conditions were abominable. Earl Harrison, dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School
University of Pennsylvania Law School
The University of Pennsylvania Law School, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the law school of the University of Pennsylvania. A member of the Ivy League, it is among the oldest and most selective law schools in the nation. It is currently ranked 7th overall by U.S. News & World Report,...

, asked Joseph Schwartz, JDC’s European director, to accompany him on his official tour of the camps. His landmark report called for separate Jewish camps and for United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration was an international relief agency, largely dominated by the United States but representing 44 nations. Founded in 1943, it became part of the United Nations in 1945, was especially active in 1945 and 1946, and largely shut down...

 (UNRRA) participation in administering them—with JDC’s help. In response, Schwartz virtually re-created JDC, putting together a field organization that covered Europe and later North Africa and designing a more proactive operational strategy.

Supplementing the relief supplied by the army, by UNRRA, and by UNRRA’s successor agency—the International Refugee Organization
International Refugee Organization
The International Refugee Organization was founded on April 20, 1946 to deal with the massive refugee problem created by World War II. A Preparatory Commission began operations fourteen months previously. It was a United Nations specialized agency and took over many of the functions of the earlier...

—JDC distributed emergency aid, but also fed the educational and cultural needs of the displaced, providing typewriter
A typewriter is a mechanical or electromechanical device with keys that, when pressed, cause characters to be printed on a medium, usually paper. Typically one character is printed per keypress, and the machine prints the characters by making ink impressions of type elements similar to the pieces...

s, books, Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 scrolls, ritual articles, and holiday provisions. JDC funds were directed at restoring a sense of community and normalcy in the camps with new medical facilities, schools, synagogues, and cultural activities.

Over the next two years, the influx of refugees from all over Central and Eastern Europe would more than triple the number of Jews in the DP camps. Their number included Polish Jews who had returned from their wartime refuge in the Soviet Union only to flee once again (westward, this time) from renewed anti-Semitism and the July 1946 Kielce pogrom
Kielce pogrom
The Kielce pogrom was an outbreak of violence against the Jewish community in the city of Kielce, Poland on July 4, 1946, perpetrated by a mob of local townsfolk and members of the official government forces of the People's Republic of Poland...


At the same time, JDC was helping sustain tens of thousands of Jews who remained in Eastern Europe, as well as thousands of others living in the West outside the DP camps in Jewish communities also receiving reconstruction assistance from JDC. In 1946, an estimated 120,000 Jews in Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, 65,000 in Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, and more than half of Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

’s 380,000 Jews, depended on JDC for food and other basic needs. By 1947, JDC was supporting 380 medical facilities across the continent, and some 137,000 Jewish children were receiving some form of JDC aid.

Falling victim to Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 tensions, JDC was expelled from Romania, Poland, and Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 in 1949, from Czechoslovakia in 1950, and from Hungary in 1953.

Resettlement in Israel

The time came for JDC to shift its focus in Europe from emergency relief to long-term rehabilitation, and a large part of its evolving mission involved preparing the Jewish refuge population for new lives in Palestine, soon to be the Jewish state of Israel. Vocational training and hachsharot (agricultural training) centers were established for this very purpose.

However, the goal of resettlement carried its own hurdles. Since before the war, Palestine had been under control of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, which severely restricted the immigration of Europe’s Jewish refugees. Clandestine immigration went on in spite of the blockades, largely because of the work of Bricha and Aliyah Bet, two organized movements partially financed and supplied by JDC. When the British began interning illegal Jewish immigrants in detention camps on Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, JDC was there to furnish medical, educational, and social services for the detainees.

Britain’s eventual withdrawal from Palestine set the stage for the May 15, 1948, birth of the State of Israel, which quickly drew waves of Jews not only from Europe, but from across the Arab world. North Africa became an especially dangerous place for Jews following World War II. The 1948 War of Independence in Palestine set off a wave of nationalist fervor in the region leading to anti-Jewish riots in Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

, Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, and Tripoli
Tripoli is the capital and largest city in Libya. It is also known as Western Tripoli , to distinguish it from Tripoli, Lebanon. It is affectionately called The Mermaid of the Mediterranean , describing its turquoise waters and its whitewashed buildings. Tripoli is a Greek name that means "Three...

. Jews in Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 suffered a devastating pogrom in 1945. Nearly the entire population—31,000 Jews—would immigrate to Israel within a few short years. One of the most remarkable episodes of this period in JDC history was Operation Magic Carpet
Operation Magic Carpet (Yemen)
Operation Magic Carpet is a widely-known nickname for Operation On Wings of Eagles , an operation between June 1949 and September 1950 that brought 49,000 Yemenite Jews to the new state of Israel. British and American transport planes made some 380 flights from Aden, in a secret operation that was...

, the June 1948 airlift of 50,000 Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

ite Jews to Israel. Thousands more Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i and Kurd
Kürd or Kyurd or Kyurt may refer to:*Kürd Eldarbəyli, Azerbaijan*Kürd Mahrızlı, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Goychay, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Jalilabad, Azerbaijan*Kürd, Qabala, Azerbaijan*Qurdbayram, Azerbaijan...

ish Jews were transported through Operation Ezra, also funded by JDC.

In all, more than 300,000 Jews left North Africa for Israel.

The influx was so massive—and the capacity of the newborn nation to provide for its burgeoning citizenry so limited—that the dream of statehood could have died before it had ever really taken root. Among the new arrivals were 100,000 veterans of Europe’s DP camps, less than half of them able-bodied adults. The remainder included the aged, sick, or disabled survivors of concentration camps. Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

 was rampant.

Mindful of JDC’s emergency aid work prior to and during World War II, the Israeli government in late 1949 invited the organization to join with the Jewish Agency for Israel
Jewish Agency for Israel
The Jewish Agency for Israel , also known as the Sochnut or JAFI, served as the organization in charge of immigration and absorption of Jews from the Diaspora into the state of Israel.-History:...

 to confront these challenges. The outcome was MALBEN—a Hebrew acronym for Organization for the Care of Handicapped Immigrants.

Over the next few years, MALBEN rushed to convert former British army barracks and any other available building into hundreds of hospitals, homes for the aged, TB sanitariums, sheltered workshops, and rehabilitation centers. MALBEN also funded the training of nurses and rehabilitation workers.

By 1951, JDC assumed full responsibility for MALBEN. Its many rehabilitation programs opened new worlds to the disadvantaged, enabling them to contribute to the building of the new country. At the same time, Israel’s local and national government agencies were building capacity, and by the end of the decade, JDC was able to chart a fresh course. With the need for emergency aid receding, JDC pushed forward with more long-term community-based programs aimed at Israel’s most vulnerable citizens. In the coming years, JDC would become a social catalyst by encouraging and guiding collaborations between the Israeli government and private agencies to identify, evaluate, and address unmet needs in Israeli society.

Social welfare

As its record of accomplishment in Israel makes clear, JDC helped Israel develop social welfare methods and policy, with many of its programs having served as models for government and non-governmental agencies around the world. In the 1950s, institutional care for the aged was replaced whenever practicable with JDC initiatives that enabled older people to live at home in their communities. The Ministry of Health was established in collaboration with the Psychiatric Trust Fund to develop modern, integrated mental health services and to train qualified staff. The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work, first created by JDC in France to train professionals working with refugees from many diverse cultures, was reestablished at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

 to professionalize social services.

JDC’s social work innovations continued into the 1960s with the founding of Israel’s first Child Development and Assessment Center, which put into practice the then-emerging idea that early detection and treatment optimize outcomes for children with disabilities. A success, Child Development Centers soon spread across the country.

JDC during this period also worked closely with Israeli voluntary agencies that served children with physical and mental disabilities, helping them set up therapy programs, kindergartens, day centers, counseling services for parents, and summer camps. It also advised these organizations on fundraising strategies to help them become financially independent.

In 1969, JDC and the government of Israel inaugurated ESHEL—the Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged—to extend a network of coordinated local, regional, and national services to underserved elderly. Still active today, ESHEL is credited with improving the quality of life of Israel’s seniors.

With these and other like-minded projects, JDC underwent an important transition with regard to its role in Israel. Initially engaged by the government to provide emergency aid to a traumatized and impoverished population of former refugees, JDC had redirected its efforts toward advising and subsidizing a broad spectrum of community based public and volunteer service providers. The evolution was a reflection of a new reality: Israel had come into its own as a nation and had successfully achieved an infrastructure with the capacity to address the needs of its most vulnerable citizens.

By the end of 1975, JDC had transferred its MALBEN facilities to the government and divested itself of all direct services.

Diaspora work

The 1980s and 1990s saw JDC expand both its reach and the scope of its mission. Under the banner of “Rescue, Relief, and Renewal,” the organization responded to the challenges that faced Jewish communities around the world, its emphasis on building the capacity of local partners to be self-sustaining.

The thawing of the Cold War and subsequent break up of the Soviet Union yielded a formal invitation from Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

 for JDC’s return to the region in 1989; 50 years after Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 brutally expelled the organization, killing several JDC members in the process. The former Soviet Union and its largely isolated and destitute community of elderly Jewish populations quickly became—and remain—the organization’s priority. A growing network of Heseds, or welfare centers, that JDC helped establish in local communities provided welfare assistance to a peak caseload of 250,000 elderly Jews. Today that network is still serving 168,000 of the world’s poorest Jews in the former Soviet Union (December 2008).

JDC has also been instrumental in the rescue of Jews fleeing famine, violence, and other dangers around the world. The saga of Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

’s Jews was perhaps the most dramatic, culminating in Operation Solomon
Operation Solomon
Operation Solomon was a 1991 covert Israeli military operation to take Ethiopian Jews to Israel.In 1991, the sitting Ethiopian government of Mengistu Haile Mariam was close to being toppled with the recent military successes of Eritrean and Tigrean rebels, threatening Ethiopia with dangerous...

, the massive 36-hour airlift of 14,000 Jews from Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

 to Israel on May 24 and 25, 1991, just as the city was about to come under rebel attack. JDC assisted in the negotiation and planning of that rescue effort, which came on the heels of the comprehensive health and welfare program it had been operating for the thousands of Jews who had gathered in Addis Ababa in preparation for the departure.

Equally compelling were the 11 rescue convoys that JDC operated from war-ravaged Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

 during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

. The convoys succeeded in transporting 2,300 Serbs
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

, Croats
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

, Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s, and Jews to safety in other parts of the former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 and beyond. JDC also supported the Sarajevo Jewish community’s non-sectarian relief efforts in that besieged city, and helped the Belgrade community assist the many Jews affected by Serbia’s economic difficulties as UN-mandated trade sanctions took a growing toll.

Wherever JDC has become active, emergency aid has gone hand-in-hand with local institution-building for the long term. In India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, home to an indigenous Bene Israel
Bene Israel
The Bene Israel are a group of Jews who migrated in the 19th century from villages in the Konkan area to the nearby Indian cities, primarily Mumbai, but also to Pune, and Ahmedabad. Prior to these waves of emigrations and to this day, the Bene Israel formed the largest sector of the subcontinent's...

community, JDC in the 1960s channeled funding to the rehabilitation of local schools and included support for food programs and capital upgrades. It also helped underwrite tuition for teachers and student leaders to study in Israel. In Latin America, where Jews fleeing the Nazis had settled decades earlier (with JDC’s assistance), the organization in the late ’80s created Leatid, a program that trains local lay and professional Jewish leaders to ensure that communities are self-sustaining.

The formalization of JDC’s non-sectarian work under its International Development Program in 1986 marked another milestone. While JDC had always offered assistance to non-Jews in crisis since the organization’s founding in 1914, the formation of the new program was done to ensure a unified Jewish response to global disasters—both natural and manmade—on behalf of U.S. and foreign Jewish agencies. Since then, JDC relief and recovery efforts have assisted tens of thousands of people left vulnerable in the wake of the mid-90s civil war in Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

, the Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

 refugee crisis, the devastating 1999 earthquake in Turkey, and the 2004 tsunami in South Asia. As in its Jewish-specific projects, JDC’s non-sectarian work includes both emergency disaster relief and the building of local institutional capacity to ensure that people at risk continue to be served long after the disaster has passed.


JDC has operated in 85 countries at one time or another in the course of its 95-year history. As of early 2009, JDC is conducting projects in 71 countries, including Argentina, Croatia, Ethiopia, Poland, Morocco, Cuba, and throughout the former Soviet Union. JDC also maintains a focus on Israel and has been a humanitarian presence in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 since its founding in 1914.


In its mission to support communities in developing their own resources in ways that are both culturally sensitive and organic, JDC partners with local organizations in creating and implementing all JDC projects worldwide. These partnerships enable JDC to most effectively address the unique needs of the communities where it operates and to build the capacity of all of the institutions, professionals, and volunteers so they become equipped with the skills needed to serve their own communities.

Programs and priorities

Relief, Rescue, Renewal –Aiding Jewry Worldwide is JDC’s mission to alleviate suffering and enhance the lives of Jews has taken it across geographic, cultural, and political borders on five continents. Currently, the regions drawing the greatest amount of JDC effort include the following:
  • The Former Soviet Union. The upheaval caused by the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought both crisis and opportunity to Jews living there. All religions and minorities suffered under communism, and so fractured communities of Jews were suddenly confronted with a collapsed infrastructure and an uncertain future, but also the hope that it might now be possible to assert and reclaim a heritage long denied them. JDC, which had only recently begun to reestablish a presence in the region after being violently expelled by Stalin in 1938, poured its resources into the relief, rescue, and restoration of Jewish populations fighting for survival. Today, JDC provides food, medical care, home care, and winter relief to 168,000 elderly Jews, largely through 175 Hesed welfare centers throughout the region. JDC also provides nutritional, medical, and other assistance to 25,000 children at risk and their families. In addition to life-sustaining aid, JDC helps Jews reclaim their heritage and build vibrant self-sustaining Jewish communities through Jewish Community Center
    Jewish Community Center
    A Jewish Community Center or Jewish Community Centre is a general recreational, social and fraternal organization serving the Jewish community in a number of cities...

    s, libraries, Hillel
    Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
    Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life is the largest Jewish campus organization in the world, working with thousands of college students globally...

     youth centers, family retreats, Jewish education, and local leadership development.

  • Central and Eastern Europe. As in the former Soviet Union, social and economic shifts threaten the stability of the many diverse Jewish communities throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries
    Baltic countries
    The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

    . JDC’s social welfare and community development approaches are as varied as the communities they assist. JDC relief programs for Holocaust survivors reach 26,000 elderly, while the organization works with local partners to ensure that impoverished children’s basic needs are met. The overarching goal is self-sustainability and shifting welfare responsibilities to local entities. To achieve this, JDC provides consultation to communities in the areas of leadership training, strategic planning, fundraising, property management, and networking, helping local professionals to develop the skills to serve the larger community.

  • Africa and Asia. It terms of sheer numbers, Jewish communities in Africa and the Far East
    Far East
    The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

     range from sizable (upwards of 25,000 in Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

    ) to small (as of this writing, Algeria
    Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

     is home to five people of Jewish heritage). Jewish populations on both continents are diminishing, either through emigration or because the elderly are all that remain. But wherever there is a Jew and a desire to maintain the trappings and traditions of Jewish life, JDC strives to ensure that basic needs are met and Jewish institutions continue. JDC supports local Jewish education and training efforts and puts special emphasis on international programs that bridge isolated Jewish populations with Jews all over the world.

  • The Americas. There are nearly a quarter million Jews in Argentina
    Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

    , more than in any other nation in the Western hemisphere after the United States. That number included a vibrant, emerging middle class. But much of that progress was thrown in turmoil by a nationwide financial crisis in 2001 that plunged thousands into economic despair and entrenched the pull of poverty for those already living in it. JDC responded, providing critical assistance to 36,000 Argentine Jews. Since then, JDC has begun to cede its assistance role to its local partners while continuing to ensure that basic food and medical needs of the most vulnerable citizens are met.

  • Israel. JDC’s relationship with Israel is unique. While the organization works with the cooperation of the governments of other nations where it has a presence, with Israel the relationship is more of a direct partnership. Working together, JDC and the Israeli government strengthen the capacity of local agencies to address the immediate and long-term needs of the elderly, at-risk youth, the chronically under employed, and new immigrants. JDC assists in building and maintaining Israel’s social strengths—including management of the public sector, governance and management of nonprofit organizations, volunteerism, and philanthropy—so that the society as a whole is more able to meet its own needs. JDC also helps those Jews and non-Jews living under fire in southern Israel.

JDC institutions

In the course of its long history, JDC has helped create lasting institutions that do much of the research and policy development that inform JDC programs and advance its goals. In fact, the work of these institutions is highly regarded well beyond the Jewish community and can arguably be said to have raised the bar on social service delivery, globally.

Public policy making

The Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, a partnership between the JDC, the Israeli government, and the Inez Myers Foundation, was established in 1974. Its role is to conduct applied social research on the scope and causes of social needs—specifically those related to aging, health policy, children and youth, people with disabilities, and new immigrants—and assesses various approaches to addressing them. The data produced by researchers has proven a powerful tool for Israel’s policy makers and social service practitioners. Among other examples, MJB researchers:
  • Revealed the dramatic increase in the number of Israel’s disabled elderly and helped develop strategies to expand community services for them.

  • Helped to expand and improve national education policy for Ethiopian children in the 1990s, which resulted in improved high school achievements and greater participation in higher education.

  • Facilitated the implementation of Israel’s Special Education Law, which markedly expanded services for disabled children in the 1990s.

  • Helped to introduce and effectively implement the National Health Insurance Law (1995), which provides universal and more equitable coverage to all of Israel's citizens.

Other JDC-affiliated institutions include The Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, an independent think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

 that analyzes and develops social policy alternatives, and the recently established JDC International Centre for Community Development, which supports JDC’s efforts worldwide to enhance and support Jewish communal life.


Leadership training is a JDC core value. To that end, JDC founded Leatid, the European center for Jewish leadership. The Leatid training program, with its focus on management and community planning, helps expand the pool of outstanding professional Jewish men and women committed to the continued well being of their communities. Jewish leaders from all parts of Europe have taken part in Leatid training seminars, including most of the current presidents of European Jewish communities, executive directors, key board members and rabbis. Indeed, those leaders who aren’t Leatid alumnus almost certainly underwent Buncher Community Leadership Training, another JDC effort in partnership with the Buncher Family Foundation and the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh. Since its start in 1989, Buncher Leadership Training has conducted seminars in the former Soviet Union, the Baltic States, Poland, Germany, Former Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria as well as India and Latin America.

Finally, the Moscow NGO Management School, founded by JDC in 2005, effectively strengthens the Russian nonprofit sector by providing professional training to managers of nonprofit organizations. The curriculum is crafted to provide opportunities for nonprofit leaders to gain skills to help their organizations succeed.

Disaster relief

JDC’s role as a non-sectarian disaster relief agency is motivated by the spirit of tikkun olam, the traditional moral obligation of Jews to improve conditions for the entire human family. Working with local partners, JDC has provided emergency aid and long-term development assistance to communities devastated by such catastrophic events as the Kashmir earthquake in 2005, and the South Asia tsunami in 2004. More recent relief efforts include:
  • 2008 Pakistan earthquake
    2008 Pakistan earthquake
    The 2008 Pakistan earthquake was a magnitude Mw 6.4 earthquake that hit the Pakistani province of Balochistan on October 29, 2008. The US Geological Survey reported that the quake occurred north of Quetta and southeast of the Afghanistan city of Kandahar at 04:09 local time at a depth of , at...

    On October 29, 2008, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck southwest Pakistan, northeast of the provincial capital Quetta. JDC collected funds to directly assist victims of the quake and partnered with the International Blue Crescent to deliver much-need food, bedding, hygiene kits, and warm clothing to those hardest hit.

  • Russia-Georgia conflict
    2008 South Ossetia war
    The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other....

    Following the eruption of hostilities on August 7, 2008, JDC partnered with the Georgian Red Cross and MASHAV, the Center for International Development of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to coordinate the shipment and deployment of critical medical supplies and other emergency assistance. JDC continues to assess the needs of the region and develop a strategy for long-term assistance to those displaced by the conflict.

  • 2008 China earthquake
    2008 Sichuan earthquake
    The 2008 Sichuan earthquake or the Great Sichuan Earthquake was a deadly earthquake that measured at 8.0 Msand 7.9 Mw occurred at 14:28:01 CST...

    China’s worst earthquake in more than 30 years devastated Sichuan
    ' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

     and eight additional provinces on May 12, 2008, killing more than 70,000 people and leaving 1.39 million homeless. JDC is supporting a partnership between The All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (ACFSMC) and the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development (NISPED) that is leading an ambitious reconstruction effort in the region.

  • 2008 Myanmar cyclone
    Cyclone Nargis
    Cyclone Nargis , was a strong tropical cyclone that caused the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Burma. The cyclone made landfall in Burma on Friday, May 2, 2008, causing catastrophic destruction and at least 138,000 fatalities...

    JDC was among the first and only aid organizations to enter Myanmar
    Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

    ’s Irrawaddy Delta
    Irrawaddy Delta
    The Irrawaddy Delta or Ayeyarwady Delta lies in the Ayeyarwady Region , the lowest expanse of land in Burma that fans out from the limit of tidal influence at Myan Aung to the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, 290 km to the south at the mouth of the Ayeyarwady River...

     following Cyclone Nargis
    Cyclone Nargis
    Cyclone Nargis , was a strong tropical cyclone that caused the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Burma. The cyclone made landfall in Burma on Friday, May 2, 2008, causing catastrophic destruction and at least 138,000 fatalities...

    , which struck on May 2, 2008. The disaster affected an estimated 2.4 million people. JDC coordinated with other nongovernmental organizations to immediately provide water, food, and medical supplies and is now supporting efforts to rebuild schools, homes, and embankments destroyed by the cyclone.

External links

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