Youth Aliyah warns of 'devastating' impact on Israeli children it helps after cancelling London dinner

Event called off over coronavirus concerns leaving charity with a £500,000 hole in its finances



The cancellation of this month’s Youth Aliyah Child Rescue dinner because of coronavirus concerns will have a “devastating effect” on its support for vulnerable children in Israel.

Charity CEO Daliah Mehdi said the decision to cancel the London event had been “incredibly difficult” but “we absolutely have to put the safety and wellbeing of our supporters in the UK first".

It had been expected that the dinner would raise around £500,000 and she was “gravely concerned” about the impact on those it helped, “especially at a time when they themselves are dealing with heightened emotions surrounding the epidemic”.

The charity’s youth villages were facing additional financial burdens because of coronavirus. “Significantly more children than usual will remain in the villages over Pesach. This will require additional staff, food and activities, as well as counsellors to help children cope with the anxiety and uncertainty of this global crisis. The villages have also had to pay for isolation rooms to be created, as well as for additional healthcare staff, equipment and supplies."

In an appeal to donors, Ms Mehdi added that “now, more than ever, the children need us to step up and make sure they have what they need to get through this”.

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