The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is organizing relief efforts in response to a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador that has killed at least 272 people and injured more than 2,500.

The New York-based JDC said in an April 18 statement that it has begun assessing needs and coordinating relief efforts with the Ecuador Jewish community and Heart to Heart International focusing on medical care, medical supply provision and water purification efforts.

In addition to the group’s response in Ecuador, a $25,000 JDC grant for emergency supplies including food and nonfood items was made to JDC’s long-standing partner, the Japanese humanitarian agency JEN, to aid people affected by the recent earthquakes in the Kumamoto province.

JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. The organization coordinates its relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction and the United Nations. Donations for these efforts can be made at

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