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Israel launches humanitarian mission in Vietnam

Updated: 2007-05-20 16:06
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JERUSALEM, -- In its latest humanitarian initiative, Israel recently launched an operation to provide medical care and financial aid to the poorer populations in the remote Vietnamese jungles, local medial reported on May 20.

The mission, which will cost a total of 50,000 U.S. dollars, was carried out in cooperation with Vietnamese clinics run by an Israeli doctor, a Yedioth Ahronoth report said.

Efi Ben Matityahu, Israeli ambassador to Vietnam, proposed the initiative and decided to better use the money slated previously for the traditional Israeli Independence Day celebration at the embassy.

Last week, a group of 54 doctors and nurses left for the mountainous Vietnamese jungles near the Laotian border to treat the sick and poor. Five of the doctors and a few of the nurses were Israelis, while the remainder of the medical staff came from other parts of the world.

The medical team traveled through the jungle in vehicles carrying the sign "Israel-Vietnam humanitarian mission". They set up medical camps, where some 2,500 Vietnamese children that have never seen a doctor before were treated. Patients in need of operation were transferred to a city clinic, which performed all the operations free of charge. Food, clothing and toys were also distributed among poor children.

The week-long mission, which was praised by the Vietnamese government, will end on Tuesday.