Coronavirus Outbreak: Emergency Response

Latet’s Emergency Response for needy, isolated elderly in Israel

Facing this unprecedented health crisis, Latet is leading a national coalition composed of NGOs, the IDF Homefront Command, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Affairs, Social Services and main philanthropic bodies from Israel and abroad, who came together to assist isolated elderly lacking accessibility to food and who are confined in their homes. The purpose of this critical operation is to minimize the spread of the virus by ensuring that elderly people will be able to stay home. Elderly people are the most at risk population and should be protected during the whole time of the crisis in order to avoid further escalation.
  • Assessment of the situation
As Israel is facing an exponential increase in the number of coronavirus cases, the government has taken drastic measures to isolate the spread of the outbreak. Restrictions on gatherings and quarantine, as well as possible increase of price and shortage of basic products, will directly impact isolated and impoverished elderly people, which are always in the front line in times of crisis. Therefore, Latet has launched an emergence response to assist the most impoverished and isolated elderly, among them thousands of Holocaust survivors. According to Latet’s forecast, about 80,000 seniors in need above the age of 75 will require vital assistance for at least 3 months.
  • Latet’s Emergency Response
Latet is acting to avoid a situation in which many elderly were to become sick at the same time, which in turn would lead the health system to collapse. Latet’s response aims at minimizing the number of casualties among the elderly by providing packages including food, personal hygiene products and entertainment items directly to the homes of the elderly, with the help of volunteers, to enable them to stay at home (approximate package cost: $90). Latet started providing assistance to 15,000 elderly in need, who were ordered by the ministry of Health to minimize contacts with the outside world. The operation is intended to be spread over the next 3 months for a total of 45,000 emergency packages distributed. Our mapping is carried out in collaboration with Latet's NGO partners in the field, municipal social services and the Ministry of Health. Thousands of requests have also been received through Latet’s emergency call center. In addition, the IDF Homefront Command has lent a warehouse in the military base of Tzrifin and logistical capabilities to ensure the success of this mission. It is important to mention that this operation is led in addition to our regular assistance programs to 60,000 families in need. Right before Passover, the first 15,000 packages will already have reached the homes of the needy elderly.
  • Latet’s expertise
For the last 24 years, Latet is the leading Israeli NGO combating poverty in Israel. Acting as an umbrella organization for 180 local associations in all the sectors, Latet has extensive experience in providing assistance to distressed populations, the elderly and Holocaust survivors, in routine and emergency situations. Latet works with 27,000 volunteers nationwide that can be mobilized at any time, operates one of the largest fleet of trucks of the third sector in Israel and a trained staff ready to operate. Latet collaborates with the social services divisions of every municipality operating throughout the country and in all sectors of Israeli society. Latet is also a member of the round table at the National Emergency Authority and has long term partnerships with the municipalities and welfare services as well as established clear operational guidelines and immediate readiness to activate the emergency response.

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