Israeli aid workers rescue refugees off Greek coast

By September 18 2015, 11:53 Latest News No Comments

IsraAIDAid workers from Israeli humanitarian charity IsraAID on Sunday rescued a group of stranded refugees, after their boat overturned off the Greek coast.

The aid workers were successful in getting all on board safely to shore, where the charity’s medical team was on hand to offer assistance, as well as food and water.

IsraeAID founder Shachar Zahavi said in a statement: “A boat arrived almost up to the shore of Greece when all of a sudden its engine exploded and flipped the boat…Some of the women, children and babies didn’t know how to swim and our staff immediately jumped into the water to help them preventing them from drowning”.

Aid workers from the NGO have also travelled to the Serbian border with Hungary this week to distribute supplies to Syrian and Afghan refugees who are fleeing war-torn countries.

A team of 10 volunteers are currently distributing dozens of baby slings as well as other supplies among families based on the worldwide initiative ‘Slings for Refugees’.

This follows the success of a Facebook campaign asking for Israelis to donate their old baby equipment to the refugees. Similar campaigns based on this concept have led to thousands of baby carriers being donated around the world.

Director Zahavi has said that the pilot scheme is gaining momentum: “The ball is rolling really fast. We expect it to pick up even more speed”.

IsraAID will be sending five more volunteers next week to continue these efforts on the Serbia-Hungary border. As well as this initiative, IsraAID has a dedicated team in Greece providing medical support and psychological assistance to Syrian refugees and were involved in the rescue of many refugees off the Greek coast last weekend.

Zahavi says IsraAID intends to work in partnership with three types of agencies on the ground in each country: the local NGO sector, local Red Cross and both national and regional government officials.

Founded in 2001, IsraAid is an umbrella organization for Israeli and Jewish groups offering humanitarian aid in disaster-struck areas. It has sent teams to locations around the world, including Sri Lanka, Peru, Nepal, South Sudan, the Phillipines and Haiti.

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