Yesterday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Ministry of Defense sent a humanitarian aid delegation to provide medical care and services to victims of the intense floods and mudslides that recently struck Colombia.
A day earlier it was estimated that as many as 50 houses were buried in the mudslide, with as many as 40 people trapped inside.
The delegation from Israel comprises seven officers from the Home Front Command and approximately 50 tons of equipment including 20 tons of dry food, five thousand medical kits, two thousand blankets, one thousand ponchos, one thousand mattresses and one hundred tents.
According to the Commander of Home Front Command’s National Search and Rescue Unit, Brig. Gen. (res.) Shalom Ben-Arye, “The IDF instructed the Home Front Command to send a humanitarian aid delegation to the Colombian flood victims. We are to land in Colombia, distribute the aid equipment and return only once our mission is complete.”
The most recent IDF aid mission of similar scope was sent to Haiti when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on the Richter scale struck the country in early 2010. Israel was among the first to offer assistance and the first country to establish a field hospital with operating and delivery rooms. Altogether, as many as 1,200 patients were treated by 220 personnel members.