The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, in coordination with the Indian Jewish community and its local partner SEWA Cooperative Federation, is responding to the surge of coronavirus cases in India by deploying ventilators to hospitals in Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Manufactured in Israel, the ventilators are in high demand by the country’s increasingly overburdened medical services.

“Our heart goes out to the people of India at this desperate time,” said JDC CEO Ariel Zwang. “While the needs are overwhelming, we know the critical importance of providing life-saving supplies and training as quickly as possible.”

JDC has been working in India since 1950 and has been responding to pandemic-related needs there for the last year. It is raising additional funds to provide oxygen, filtered masks and other medical supplies through SEWA, and telemedicine support for ICU doctors and nurses to consult with their peers in the United States and Israel.

Its work in India comprises efforts with the 4,500-person Jewish community—such as care for its neediest, and Jewish cultural and educational opportunities—as well as supports the country’s most vulnerable populations through economic empowerment and skill-building programs with local NGOs. JDC has previously responded to many disasters in the region, including flooding in Kerala, the Nepal earthquake and the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Disaster-relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors. JDC relief activities are coordinated with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the Israeli government and the United Nations, as well as local and international partners.

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