In the wake of the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, New Israel Fund Australia has made three strategic emergency grants to assist vulnerable communities in Israel.
The emergency funds will be directed towards refugees, people seeking asylum, undocumented workers and other people living in Israel who don’t have access to either kuppat cholim ('health insurance') or bituach leumi ('national insurance') to assist them during this difficult moment.
$45,000 of funding will be distributed across three organisations:
- Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR) – to provide medical care to those without health insurance, like people seeking asylum and undocumented workers, in their open clinic in Yafo. PHR will also liaise with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior to ensure their practices during this time take into consideration these vulnerable individuals.
- ASSAF – to provide humanitarian aid, such as food, toiletries and other essential goods, to people seeking asylum and refugees. Many refugees work in restaurants, cafes and hotels, and already live paycheck to paycheck, so lockdown regulations will disproportionately affect them and leave them without the funds to buy daily necessities.
- Hotline for Refugees and Migrants – to boost their crisis intervention centre, which is dealing with a huge upsurge in cases as jobs are lost, the lockdown has intensified and the COVID-19 crisis continues.
We know there is a lot of uncertainty as an end point to this crisis is not in sight. But we also know that steadfast supporters of NIF’s work, who share our commitment to tolerance, equality and safety in Israel, may like to be part of this response to those most in need.
Liam Getreu, executive director of New Israel Fund Australia, said:
“In Israel, the COVID-19 crisis will take a particular toll on people seeking asylum and migrant workers, who don’t have the effective safety net and medical care that other Israelis do.
“As the workers in cafes and restaurants, they’re also most vulnerable to losing their salaries and not being able to make ends meet. We’re standing up and filling the gap to make sure everyone in Israel can stay healthy and safe.
“We know this is a moment of great uncertainty around the world. But we also know that Australian Jews have always risen to support Israel in moments of national crisis. This emergency funding continues that tradition, of making sure everyone in Israel can stay healthy and safe.”
More information: Liam Getreu, 0413 374 401, firstname.lastname@example.org