Gal

Ashoka Fellow
Israel,
Fellow Since 2012
IFA Israel Flying Aid

Citation

This profile was prepared when Gal Lusky was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Gal Lusky envisions a world in which teams can organize quickly and respond effectively to emergency crises. Her organization, IFA (Israel Flying Aid) assists survivors of natural disasters and human conflict in the world's most dangerous regions. The complexity of most humanitarian aid missions means that they are often limited in their response, constrained by bureaucracy, and reliant on the host country, which itself may also be entangled with corruption. As a consequence, victims of crises are denied access to life-giving relief.

IFA changes the face of emergency disaster relief by enabling local citizens to become agents of change in their communities by providing the needed aid. They drive the impact, rather than external and foreign agencies. By teaching and training locals in high risk areas as well as training other aid organizations of similar interest, Gal’s work reframes the role and position of humanitarian aid. She is building a coalition of rescue teams devoted to saving lives and cutting the often detrimental link between government interests, supplies and human capital. Gal’s vision is that this work will change the behavior of the states themselves: IFA is improving states’ understanding of the importance of aid in emergency situations and communicating that political priorities should not stand in the way of saving of lives.

Based on Gal’s extensive experience in disaster areas, IFA’s model is a sophisticated and easily replicable risk-assessment process that combines sourcing local supplies, networking, and connections. Over the last ten years, Gal’s organization has delivered food and medicine to people all over the world, including the Muslim population in Kashmir after an earthquake, monks in south Myanmar after a devastating cyclone, and isolated Georgian communities under Russian army siege. The IFA has worked in Indonesia, Haiti, Eritrea, and Sudan. Most recently, Gal’s organization delivered more than 120 tons of supplies to survivors and refugees in Syria as well as in unrecognized refugee camps in neighboring countries. Now she is looking forward to partnering with local communities in organizations to multiply her impact in other conflict-prone areas around the globe.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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