In a beautiful move that any other country has yet to match, Israel has now taken a great step further with its relief efforts in Nepal after it vowed to adopt a destroyed village and completely rebuild it.
The Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that Israel will “adopt” a village in Nepal and help to rehabilitate it after the devastating earthquake in the country that claimed more than 7,000 lives. The reconstruction includes clearing out rubble and debris, building new housing infrastructure and facilitating clean drinking water for residents.
“After consulting with various departments in the Foreign Ministry, we decided to adopt a village in Nepal, to assist with its reconstruction and to do our utmost to help people who have really found themselves in a difficult situation,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said at a press conference at the Ministry’s situation room, which oversees the Israeli aid efforts in Nepal.
“We are seeing the nation of Israel at its best: taking care of [others] and willing to help,” he said.
Foreign Ministry Director-General Nissim Ben-Shitrit said that Israeli rescue workers had saved dozens of non-Israelis in areas of Nepal where they were conducting searches for Israeli tourists. “We, the professional staff, will start to work after the dust has settled and it’ll be possible to talk with Nepali authorities about the location of the village and the matter of the reconstruction,” he said.
Israel has experience in rebuilding disaster-stricken areas. “We did this in Turkey: The State of Israel built an entire village, including buildings and everything that was needed,” said Ben-Shitrit.
Israeli Relief Mission Continues
In the meantime, Israel’s field hospital in Nepal has treated some 440 patients, including 33 victims who have undergone life-saving surgical procedures.
Three babies were born at the hospital, including one through a caesarean section.
As the search-and-rescue operations have basically come to a standstill in Nepal, 45 members of Israel’s relief team, which included hundreds, are returning home, and the rest will stay to operate the hospital in the coming weeks.
All Israelis but one, Or Asraf, have been accounted for. Special teams have left for the Langtang region to search for him.
In Kathmandu on Thursday, an Israeli-led rescue team recovered a 24-year-old woman from the wreckage, where she had been trapped for five days. Rescue workers from the IsraAID organization joined forces with local soldiers and Norwegian and French experts in a 10-hour mission to extricate Krishna Devi Khadka from the debris. She was found alongside three bodies.