"If there be among you a needy man, one of thy brethren, within any of thy gates, in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thy hand from thy needy brother." -- Deuteronomy 15:7
Israel views humanitarian aid as an integral part of its role in the international arena. Activities of MASHAV - the Israel Foreign Ministry Center for International Cooperation - focus on areas in which Israel has a comparative advantage and/or accumulated expertise. MASHAV believes that the greatest possible contribution can be made in fields where Israel has expertise directly relevant to emerging nations. Due to Israel's own successful experience of rapid development, the list of such fields is particularly extensive, including: irrigation, desert agriculture and combat of desertification, water management, early childhood education, community development, emergency and disaster medicine, refugee absorption and employment programs, and many many others.
Israel's efforts formally began in 1958, with the establishment of MASHAV, the Center for International Cooperation, following the first visit of Foreign Minister Golda Meir to Africa. MASHAV has been invited to many developing countries where it has helped alleviate hunger, disease and poverty. In the 1970s, Israel broadened its humanitarian aid agenda by granting safe haven to refugees and foreign nationals in distress - from Vietnam, Bosnia and Kosovo. Since the 1980s, Israel has also provided humanitarian aid in the wake of natural disasters and terrorist attacks beyond its borders.
In all, over 140 countries/authorities have benefited from the State of Israel's international humanitarian aid. Israel has extended humanitarian aid to the following countries:
Albania * Angola * Argentina * Armenia * Azerbaijan * Belarus * Benin * Bolivia * Bosnia & Herzogovina * Bourkina-Fasso * Brazil * Bulgaria * Gurundi * Cambodia * Cameroon * Chad * Chile * China * Columbia * Congo * Costa Rica * Cote d'Ivoire * Cyprus * Czech Republic * Democratic Republic of Congo * Deominican Republic * Ecuador* Egypt * El Salvador * Eritrea * Estonia * Ethiopia * Fiji * Gambia * Georgia * Ghana * Greece * Guatemala * Guinea * Guinea-Bissau * Guyana * Haiti * Honduras * Hungary * India * Indonesia * Jamaica * Jordan * Kazakhstan * Kenya * Kyrgystan * Laos * Latvia * Leshotho * Liberia * Lithuania * Macedonia * Madagascar * Malawi * Malta * Mauritania * Mauritius * Mexico * Micronesia * Moldova * Mongolia * Morocco * Myanmar * Namibia * Nepal * Nicaragua * Nigreia * Palestinian Authority * Panama * Papua New Guinea * Paraguay * Peru * Philippines * Poland * Romania * Russia * Rwanda * Senegal * Seychelles Islands * Singapore * Slovakia * Somalia * South Africa * South Korea * Swaziland * Tadjikistan * Tanzania * Thailand * Togo * Tonga * Tunisia * Turkey * Turkmenistan * Uganda * Ukraine * United States * Uruguay * Uzbekistan * Venezuela * Vietnam * Yugosloslavia * Zaire * Zambia * Zimbabwe
To read more about Israeli Humanitarian Relief Operations, click here.