Government, JDC-Israel and Jewish Agency provide emergency a...

Government, JDC-Israel and Jewish Agency provide emergency assistance to Negev Bedouin

July 30, 2014

Through the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee, the MInistry of Welfare, the Jewish Agency and JDC-Israel, the Government provides some help and respite for children, elderly and disabled Bedouin residents of Rahat and other Bedouin towns in the Negev. Below are some of the implemented programs:

Ministry of Negev and Galilee emergency funding: The Ministry allocated emergency funding to three Bedouin communities - the city of Rahat, Tel Sheva local council and Al Kassum regional council. The funds were used for organizing one-day respites for residents of these communities, bringing entertainment to the communities and purchasing games for the local children.

In addition, the Ministry is providing assistance in coordinating respites in the Galilee for residents of the Negev. A hotline was opened for this purpose, inviting residents of the Negev who wish to go to the Galilee and residents of the Galilee who are willing to host them to leave their names with the Ministry, who will facilitate the connection. 

Ministry of Social Welfare: In collaboration with JDC-Israel, the Ministry allocated funds for the city of Rahat (the only Bedouin community within the 40 km distance from Gaza) to provide emergency assistance to the elderly and disabled residents.

Jewish Agency: The Jewish Agency brought 80 children from the Bedouin Village of El-Kassum for a day of respite in an amusement park near Jerusalem. The children are all participants of the Jewish Agency's flagship Youth Futures program, which provides at-risk children with mentors who help them improve their interpersonal, intrapersonal, and academic skills.

JDC-Israel: As part of JFNA's Emergency Campaign Funding for the Negev, JDC-Israel is implementing a number of programs in Bedouin communities in the South, mostly focusing on those within 40 km from the Gaza border which is defined as a 'first-response' zone. JDC Israel is currently providing the following services:

  • Disabilities – Volunteers from the Center for Independent Living in Beersheva are reaching out to about 300 Bedouins with disabilities from the Negev region and providing basic services as needed.
  • Emergency Assistance to Elderly  – JDC-ESHEL, the Association for Planning and Development of Services for the Aged in Israel is providing the following services for elderly from Rahat: 50 meals on wheels; 4 one-day respites in areas out of danger (e.g. the north, or the Dead Sea) for 200 people and 3-day respite for 50 people in areas out of danger.
  • Respites for Families with Children and Risk  - Together with Israelk's National Program for Children At Risk, JDC is providing one day respites for kids and families from 9 Bedouin towns, for a total of 450 people. 

Plans are on the way to expand JDC's activities as follows: 

  • Emergency Assistance to Elderly expansion to Tel Sheva and Lakia
  • Respites for Families with Children at Risk to 3,000 people from Rahat, Lakiya, Segev Shalom, Tel Sheva, Hura, Neve Midbar and Al Kassum
  • Trauma counseling for kids in the towns mentioned above.
  • Disabilities – Reinforcing manpower in the Accessible Community at Kseife

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