Jewish refugees from eastern ukraine cry as they recount their stories of escape during a gathering in Kiev just before passover..
(photo credit: SAM SOKOL)
The international community must redouble its efforts to assist those displaced by the Ukrainian conflict, a prominent American-Jewish aid group insisted in its statement in advance of World Refugee Day, which fell on Saturday.
In an email, Alan Gill of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee called on both Jewish and non-Jewish organizations to “ join us in our ongoing efforts to address the plight of Ukraine’s internally displaced, a critical humanitarian crisis that has fallen from the headlines.”
“As we know from our work with displaced Ukrainian Jews, there is no end in sight to their suffering – and the suffering of millions of others impacted by conflict, persecution and disaster – and we must reaffirm our dedication to their well-being and put into action the ancient Jewish ideal of areivut, mutual responsibility, for the most vulnerable,” he said.
The JDC said that it is currently offering help to around 2,800 displaced Jews in Ukraine.
Over three quarters of the more than 10,000 Jews who lived in the rebel center of Donetsk before the war have fled and over 7,000 Jews from all over Ukraine have immigrated to Israel since the beginning of 2014.
According to Israel’s Russian language Channel 9, a special commission in the Finance Ministry has approved a request by the Immigration and Absorption Ministry to extend special immigration grants of NIS 15,000 to those who have arrived in Ukraine since April 15, the cutoff point for such handouts.