Uriel Hiskin Yuffe

Mashav: International Development on Coronavirus times

Credit: Mashav Twitter

Two weeks ago, I read the blog of Mr. Arsen Ostrovsky about the Israeli Diplomats and their hard work to bring home the Israelies from abroad. Today, I would like to highlight the role of MASHAV, the agency that is helping developing countries, especially in these hard days.

Since 1958, Mashav (Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation) has trained thousands of people from around the world in areas such as agriculture, sustainable development, entrepreneurship, education, and others. I want to present to you tree cases of MASHAV work, and how its help to other countries, provide diplomatic achievements to the State of Israel, even at pandemic times.

The first case is the delivery of over 120 gallons of alcogel to Guatemala. This donation is a small part of Israeli help to the country, given the fact that MASHAV has trained over six thousand Guatemalans on its different programs. Both countries have a very close relationship, and Guatemala was the second country (after the US) both to recognize the State of Israel in 1947 and also to move its Embassy to Jerusalem in 2018.

The second case to highlight is the Mashav help to Rwanda. The donation is estimated by four tons of rice, beans, and cornflour for the needed population in Kigali, the country’s capital. Also, in this case, both countries have an excellent relationship. In 2019, Israel opened Embassy in the country, and Rwandair is flying the route Kigali- Tel Aviv after a bilateral agreement. Other donations were provided to Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and more. Africa, with 54 nations, is a crucial continent at the international forums, and Israel is working to improve its relationship with it. And some of the countries had already changed their pattern of voting, having a more pro-Israeli approach

(Mashav Twitter.)

The last example is India. Since 2008, Mashav has been sharing its knowledge and its best practices as a world leader in the agricultural field with the launching of the  IIAP (Indo-Israel Agricultural Project). It is known that what goes around comes around. So, Israel also got helped by the Indian Government during the crisis, by excluding the country for an international ban of exports of pharmaceutical products. Also, the national airline, Air India, performed two flights to Israel, bringing hundreds of  Israelis home, showing the strong bonds of friendships and cooperation between both countries.

As we can see, the work of Mashav and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, both on regular times and for sure on this pandemic times, is a great asset for Israel. The country has signed in 2019 a Memorandum Of Understanding with USAID (the biggest Developing Agency in the world) and will probably be able to expand more its excellent work.

We are in a big crisis with multiple challenges ahead.  In these challenging times, it is important to recognize and support the work of this agency (also financially), that it’s not only helping to improve the image of Israel and its diplomatic relations, it is also changing the lives of thousands of people around the world.

About the Author
Originally from Argentina, but lives in Israel since 2002. BA in Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy from IDC Hertzliya. In the past, I was an intern at the Israel Mission to the UN in New York and worked at the Embassy of Mexico in Israel as a Trade, Political, and Innovation Analyst.
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