Israel Sends Aid to Plague-Stricken Madagascar

Israel is sending emergency aid to plague-stricken Madagascar, as the Indian Ocean island state faces its worst “Black Death” outbreak in 50 years, The Algemeiner reported Tuesday.

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with Magen David Adom (Israel’s national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service) in South Africa, have joined forces in the fight against the devastating disease that has engulfed Madagascar since October.

“We expect all packages to be delivered to the International Red Cross in Madagascar in the next few days,” Deputy Israeli Ambassador to South Africa, Ayellet Black, told the African News Agency (ANA). She added,  “The delivery of different medical equipment such as gloves to carry out medical procedures is being coordinated between Israel’s honorary consul in Madagascar, Benjamin Memmi, and Madagascar’s Bureau for Natural Disasters.”

Black further stressed that “Israel has a long-standing tradition of offering humanitarian assistance and coordinating relief to alleviate disease, hunger and poverty.” Black continued. “We have experience in helping countries going through natural and man-made disasters and will always provide assistance to help those in need.”

When disaster strikes, Israel’s government, army, and aid agencies are always among the first to send material and expert assistance, whether it’s earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal, tsunamis in Sri Lanka and Japan, typhoon in the Philippines, or other mass disasters in Turkey, India, Mexico, El Salvador, Greece, Rwanda, Armenia, Indonesia, and New Guinea.

Recently, an emergency response team from Israeli NGO IsraAID arrived in Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria devastated the country and other islands in the Caribbean. Israel also dispatched aid experts to Texas to provide vital relief and psychosocial support to the thousands of people who have lost everything in the catastrophic hurricane, Harvey.

So far, at least 1,800 people in Madagascar have been infected with the plague and 127 have died. The “Black Death” epidemic has reached a crisis point, after the disease had spread by 37 percent in just five days, according to official figures released by the World Health Organization last week. The World Bank has granted an extra $5 million in emergency assistance to support Madagascar.

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