Connecting the Israeli Innovation to the World
Connecting the Israeli Innovation to the World
Tikkun Olam

IsraAID: Wherever We’re Needed, As Long As It Takes

IsraAID: Wherever We’re Needed, As Long As It Takes

IsraAID brings Israeli expertise, technology, and spirit to communities around the world in their moments of crisis. Its humanitarian aid works together with the local communities to help build their capacity in the long term

Photos: Israaid


IsraAID is Israel’s leading non-governmental humanitarian aid organization. Over the past 22 years, IsraAID has responded to over 100 emergencies in 62 different countries, with ongoing programs in 15 countries as of January 2024. Crucially, IsraAID does not just respond to an immediate crisis and then leave; the organization is committed to partnering with affected communities for as long as it takes to build a stronger future.

Around the world, IsraAID is known for two things: being first on the ground and last to leave. Our emergency response teams are deployed often less than 48 hours after disaster strikes. We respond to emergencies from hurricanes and cyclones, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, to conflict and mass displacement events.


Bringing Israeli technology to communities in moments of crisis

IsraAID’s mandate has always been to bring Israeli expertise, technology, and spirit to communities in their moments of crisis. The first thing we do when we reach a disaster zone is find local partners. We believe that the role of humanitarian aid is not to dictate to communities what they need but to work together with them to help build their capacity in the long term. We stay as long as we are needed, ensuring that communities not only rebuild what they have lost but build back better.

We work across a range of areas of expertise, from safe water and hygiene to mental health and psychosocial support, public health, logistics, education, disaster risk reduction, and more. Every IsraAID program, whether it is an urgent emergency response or a long-term community development project, is uniquely tailored to the local context, aiming to fill gaps in a given community’s available resources, and remaining responsive and adaptive to new developments on-the-ground.

Working with refugees

In Kenya, for example, IsraAID arrived in 2013, to support refugees and the local host community at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Turkana West County. Taken together, Kakuma and the nearby Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement make up one of the world’s oldest and largest refugee camps. Of their population of nearly a quarter of a million refugees, around half are children. The majority fled violence and ongoing civil conflict in South Sudan and other countries in the region, including Ethiopia, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Responding to urgent needs, IsraAID focused on child protection, as well as livelihood and empowerment programs for both refugees and the traditionally nomadic Turkana host communities.


Tackling global climate change

It is often the most vulnerable communities that bear the brunt of the effects of global climate change, compounding existing crises. After six failed rainy seasons, Kenya, along with the entire Horn of Africa, is experiencing the region’s worst drought in over 40 years. Building on our long-term presence in the region, IsraAID began working to support urgent water and sanitation needs in the community. In 2023, after nearly a year of intensive geological surveys to identify viable sources of safe groundwater, IsraAID broke ground on two new boreholes that will provide water to thousands of the most vulnerable people suffering from the drought.

Helping communities adapt and respond to climate crisis is key to IsraAID’s global mission. The small Caribbean nation of Dominica, where IsraAID arrived after Hurricane Maria in 2017, is disproportionately affected by the increased risk of climate-related disasters. IsraAID is working in concert with the Dominican government to help Dominica become the world’s first climate-resilient economy. Over the past five years, and now committed to the next five years, IsraAID has worked to ensure that every school on the island has a disaster readiness program, that young Dominicans have access to training for the global digital economy, that communities have plans in place for potential hazards like hurricanes or volcanic eruptions, and to continue responding to disasters as they arise.

Unique Israeli expertise in times of crisis

All of IsraAID’s programs are geared toward building stronger communities that are better able to withstand future challenges, many times with unique Israeli expertise. For example, in Ukraine, where IsraAID has been working with displaced Ukrainians since day two of the full-scale Russian invasion, many of our programs draw directly on Israeli expertise in water technology and mental health. In the city of Mykolaiv, which lost access to water after the Russian attack on Kherson in April 2022, IsraAID has provided over a dozen reverse osmosis water filtration systems, which continue to provide millions of liters of safe drinking water to the city’s residents, and worked with the local municipality to build an easily accessible online map of all safe water sources in the city. Similarly, using our expertise in mental health, we have trained hundreds of psychologists who are now working in hospitals across the country supporting thousands of doctors, patients, and families, and integrating critical mental health care into the medical system for the first time.

Deploying Israel’s humanitarian experience back home

After October 7th, 2023, when an unprecedented crisis struck in Israel, IsraAID knew that it was time to bring our global humanitarian experience back home for the first time. Since October 8th, IsraAID’s Emergency Response team has been working around the clock to support people affected by the ongoing crisis in the country. We have partnered directly with evacuated Kibbutz and Moshav communities from the Gaza Envelope region in over a dozen evacuation centers across the country to provide mental health support, child and parent spaces, educational frameworks, and logistical support.

All around the world, IsraAID’s teams are bringing Israeli expertise to the world’s most vulnerable. In return, we’ve learned to rise to challenges, collaborate with diverse partners, pivot and adapt, operate in the most extreme circumstances, and always keep looking toward a brighter, more resilient future.


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