On Wednesday 16 May 2012, WJR held a Disaster and Development Event at Portcullis House.
This occasion, hosted by Louise Ellman MP, provided Henry Grunwald WJR President, Mr Sheikh, President of our partner agency Human Aid Focus, Peter Reichwald, WJR Trustee and Paul Anticoni, WJR Chief Executive with the opportunity to provide a greater insight into the remarkable ways in which we, as part of the British Jewry, have responded to major international disasters.
Our Chief Executive Paul Anticoni, clearly identified the measures WJR take to initiate emergency relief to worldwide catastrophe, highlighting our involvement with 13 UK Jewish communal bodies and international partner agencies. Paul’s speech below illustrates our life-saving projects, in particular Haiti and Pakistan.
We are delighted that Mr Sheikh, President of Human Aid Focus joined us at this event. His heartfelt speech reported on the impressive response WJR provided when monsoon rains flooded Pakistan in August 2010. At this time, Mr Sheikh was in the region and saw first hand the unimaginable devastation caused, as 20 million people were suddenly in danger and 1.9 million homes were destroyed. WJR had previously worked with Human Aid Focus when an earthquake hit Pakistan in 2005 and again, in 2010, our ‘disaster response and rehabilitation’ component of our organisation sprung into action. Mr Sheikh conveyed his gratitude, to WJR and our supporters, explaining how we provided construction grants to those who lost their homes and helped to create flood protection defences and footpaths over flood risk rivers.
Showing our commitment to act and care beyond our community is a powerful sentiment. We hope this event demonstrated to our supporters where their resources go - to those most in need at times of international catastrophe.