How Israel helped Guatemala

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On June 3, 2018, a volcano erupted in Guatemala, and for more than 16 hours, entire towns and villages were covered in hot lava. Mounds of ash replaced the locale. This was the sight of some pastors that came to the area eleven months after the eruption.

The Volcan de Fuego destroyed everything and affected over a million people according to their guide, the local pastor Ismael Martinez of Foursquare Ciudad Vieja. Even with the help of the United States, Mexico, and Canada, it was not enough to provide relief for those who have survived. The pastor was not the only one who felt unsatisfied.

While the UN Development Programme report in September 2018 has mentioned how extensive the funding has been for the relief effort, there have been allegations of fund misuse and local corruption. There have also been manifestations of how ineffective the policies have been in the mobilization efforts.

In spite of this, the State of Israel has made great strides in helping the country recover. They did more than just respond to the emergency but also create holistic programs that can respond to problems such as unemployment, poverty that reaches generations, and poor infrastructure.

This led to a boom in education and training in farming, medicine, and community development projects for the locals to work on.

All of the work comes from Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the MASHAV. Their work has affected other nations as well. This is seen in Ethiopia’s water conservation efforts that helped the drought-affected farms.

Through their efforts, thousands of farmers were able to gain better yields. By 2017, Ethiopia emerged as the third fastest growing economy of the millennium, and this can be partly attributed to the programs initiated by the State of Israel.

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