Equipped with firsthand knowledge of the challenges that resource-poor countries face, Israel has strived to provide other countries with the assistance they need to develop and grow. Before it had even established embassies in many world capitals, Israel sent experts abroad to teach developing nations such skills as how to upgrade medical facilities, improve schools and coax crops from arid land. Today, Israel has one of the most extensive foreign assistance programs in the world for a nation of its size.
Israelis are all too familiar with the reality of genocide. In both the Rwandan and Sudanese genocides, Israel provided humanitarian assistance to the refugees. In Rwanda, Israel established a field hospital and sent several doctors and nurses as wells as medical supplies and vaccinations. Israel has also dispersed $5 million to aid Sudanese refugees.
In more than two dozen recent cases, Israel has contributed to relief efforts after earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters. For example, Israel sent medicine, water, food and other supplies to Sri Lanka after the tsunami in 2004. The next year, Israel also sent humanitarian aid and equipment to New Orleans for victims of Hurricane Katrina. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Israel sent a comprehensive hospital team that set the standard for treating victims of a natural disaster in a speedy and humane manner.
Since 1959, Israel has maintained numerous medical outreach programs, including eye clinics in developing countries. Israel’s eye clinics have operated for decades in Nepal, Mauritania, Tonga, Liberia and Micronesia.