The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) has created a $5 million emergency fund to cope with the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
This fund will primarily support elderly Israelis, some of whom are Holocaust survivors, with packages of food and other essential items.
The Fellowship is already serving 15,000 elderly people in Israel with food and basic needs, and the emergency fund will enable the support of an additional 15,000 elderly from the age of 75 and above.
“This is an emergency situation and we mustn’t forget the most vulnerable,” said Yael Eckstein, President and CEO of the IFCJ “What a tragedy it would be for someone to survive the Holocaust only to die of this virus.”
The IFCJ has contacted thousands of seniors to map their urgent needs. It intends to coordinate a network of assistance in joint ventures with other aid organizations operating at national and local levels.
“Under normal circumstances, the elderly are more prone to loneliness as well as financial and physical difficulties,” said Eckstein. “Now, they cannot even leave their homes for fear of catching the virus.”
In the coming days, the IFCJ will start supplying food packages and hygiene products to the elderly in order to reduce their need to go to shopping centers.
In partnership with Latet, another leading NGO, the IFCJ hopes to begin the delivery of 15,000 food boxes.
In addition to providing help to the elderly, the emergency fund will provide vital equipment for hospitals and emergency teams. This includes the purchase of test kits, respirators, and disinfectant equipment. The equipment will be provided in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Health.
“We are grateful for the support of so many around the world who allow us to respond quickly in these terrible moments,” said Eckstein.
“But we also want to call upon people of faith everywhere to pray to God for His support for all of those in harm’s way, including those in the many countries called home by our friends and supporters,” she added.