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Emergency Humanitarian Aid

With the break up of the Former Soviet Union and change from Communism and dictatorship towards Democracy and a free market economy, the plight of the elderly and poor people actually became worse than ever in their recent history!

People who were accustomed to having their apartment paid for and basic living needs provided for, suddenly found themselves scrounging for savings to purchase basic food staples, pay for their own electricity and heating, buy clothes, etc.

Those who had younger children or family to help out, somehow managed, Others began moonlighting as taxi drivers and any other job they could find to make a few extra bucks. Those with a small "dacha" or summer home, moved there and rented their primary residences to foreigners so that they could live. If they had a small piece of land, they began panting their own small vegetable gardens.

People were truly hungry!

The Global Jewish Assistance & Relief Network (GJARN) was from the first international Jewish organizations to establish an in country presence in the Former Soviet Union after its breakup in 1989.

Our initial focus was the distribution of emergency humanitarian aid including privately collected donations of food, clothing, medication, toys etc (see related article) and in applying and obtaining USDA grants of surplus foods to be provided to the poor and hungry people of the FSU on a non-sectarian and non-denomination basis.

In late 1992, we received our first grant which consisted of 3,000 MT (6,600,000 lb) of surplus butter which was given out in rations of 1 kg per person to nearly 3,000,000 people in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.

Subsequent grants continued through 2001 with a primary focus on Russia and Ukraine and totaled more than 100,000 MT of food from the US Government with a combined value of (food, shipping, repackaging, warehousing, distribution and monitoring/reporting) of more than $140,000,000.

We helped provide food packages to more than 10,000,000 people from far western border of Russia with Europe to the far eastern borders of the Far East and from as far South as Chechnya to as fat North as the Arkhangelsk in the West and xxxx in the East.

When there is a will, there is a way, and that way took the form of regular trucks to special trucks driving on frozen rivers in the winter to dog sleds and Eskimos delivering food packages to people in the most Northern points in Russia.


Sun, October 1 2023 16 Tishrei 5784