MASHAV - Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation is responsible for Israel's international cooperation and assistance around the world, through the provision of guidance and training in Israel and abroad. The assistance is provided in a wide variety of areas, including agriculture, medicine, education, the advancement of the status of women, community and family. Since it was first established in 1958, more than 200,000 people have benefited from MASHAV training programs.
Development is a global issue which requires immense attention, resources, and political efforts by the international community's many fora such as the United Nations, ECOSOC, OECD, as well as multilateral development banks and agencies. Guided by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adopted by the UN General Assembly, MASHAV's approach is to ensure social, economic and environmental sustainable development.
One sixth of the human race, 1.2 billion people, live in extreme poverty, defined by the UN as having an income of less than one dollar per day. More than three hundred million of these people live in Africa, where they make up almost half of the total population.
People living in extreme poverty suffer from starvation, lack of safe drinking water and proper sanitation, poor medical care and chronic unemployment. They cannot afford to send their children to school, and they frequently lack suitable clothing, shoes and shelter. The population is ravaged by HIV/AIDS, other diseases, by drought, civil war, and isolation from urban centers. Many live without hope for the future.
Coinciding with the UN Millennium Declaration, MASHAV's first priority is to take part in the international community's commitment to achieve the MDG's and halve poverty and hunger by the year 2015. Since its inception, MASHAV's work in the developing world has been guided by the basic approach that development work is organic in nature. It is impossible to concentrate efforts in one area, such as food security, without providing proper attention to health care, community building and education. Only through a sustainable and comprehensive development program can measured results be obtained and the desired impact felt by those who need assistance the most. As no one country or aid agency can single-handedly tackle the causes leading to extreme poverty, the need to coordinate and combine efforts and resources is essential if the donor community and client countries are to realize the the Millennium Development Goals.