On Saturday, April 25, 2015, a massive earthquake struck Nepal, killing more than 2,000 people and injuring more than 4,700. A 260-member delegation from Israel immediately set out in order to provide search, rescue, and medical services. An advanced multi-department field hospital will be established in Kathmandu to provide medical care for disaster casualties.

Over the years, the IDF’s humanitarian aid has served as a source of relief for people all over the world. From India and Turkey to Argentina, and most recently the Philippines, Israel has lent a helping hand to dozens of countries hit by natural disasters. Explore the map below and discover the long history of IDF aid delegations all around the world.

MAP of IDF Aid Delegations Around the World:

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Most of the delegations were staffed with reserve soldiers from the IDF’s Search and Rescue Unit. The national Search and Rescue Unit, under the Home Front Command, is a highly skilled force trained to execute special search and rescue missions. Although the unit – created with the goal of providing aid both in Israel and abroad – was established in 1983, the IDF has been sending medical aid delegations around the world since its founding. In addition to the rescue teams, the delegations include doctors from the Medical Corps, mechanical engineering equipment operators, rescue dog handlers and Logistics officers.

The IDF’s mission in Nepal is nothing new for the IDF Search and Rescue unit which, along with the Medical Corps, has sent 24 aid delegations to 22 countries struck by disasters. Overall, in the 30 years since the unit’s foundation, it has given medical care to more than 5,000 people in afflicted areas.

When a disaster strikes anywhere in the world, they come together with one goal: to give people hope in their darkest hour. They are the #IDFWithoutBorders, and we salute them.

Operation Islands of Hope: The IDF’s Humanitarian Delegation to the Philippines

On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. An IDF rescue delegation left for the Philippines and assisted civilians in Bogo City whose lives were uprooted by typhoon. Upon arrival, IDF doctors immediately set up a field hospital, where they treated over 2,600 patients, performed 60 surgeries, delivered 36 babies, and worked on repairing schools damaged by the storm.

Video footage from the IDF aid delegation in the Philippines: