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Crises in the Middle East

  • July 30, 2006
 AmeriCares relief worker Jonathan Hodgdon turns over medicines to partner Life For Relief and Development at a clinic in Syria  

While the Middle East continues to erupt in violence, the humanitarian situation of those living in many countries in the area grows more desperate by the day.  AmeriCares has announced  the opening of a dedicated Middle East Relief Fund to provide humanitarian aid to the many people affected and displaced by this intensifying conflict.

AmeriCares has been working in the region for more than a dozen years, and is continuing to provide aid through the ongoing conflict, with relief shipments to both Lebanon and Gaza and the West Bank having arrived within the last two weeks. Two air shipments of essential medicines delivered to Syria are being distributed by Life for Relief and Development, a local partner.
In Lebanon, AmeriCares supports numerous refugee camps and hospitals around Beirut, serving a direct beneficiary population of more than 250,000 people.  Two relief shipments shipments arrived just prior to the recent outbreak of conflict there, and AmeriCares medicines and relief supplies are already being distributed in the affected areas.

In Gaza and the West Bank, where nearly 30% of children are suffering from malnutrition, and nearly half a million people are dependent on food aid, AmeriCares provides ongoing relief shipments to address these critical nutritional problems.  Through regular monthly donations of essential medicines and medical supplies, AmeriCares directly benefits approximately 250,000 Palestinians.  

Mother and child waiting to see a doctor in a Beirut clinic.

“Most of the images we are seeing in the U.S. focus on the violence and the killings,” says AmeriCares relief worker Kathleen Oldaker, who visited both Lebanon and Gaza earlier this year.  “But the reality is that the larger percentage of the population is innocent people who are struggling to eat, struggling to provide for their families and children who have known no life except one filled with violence and a lack of basic necessities.  All of these people are in desperate need of aid.”

AmeriCares has been collaborating with ANERA since 1993, and has delivered more than $32 million worth of aid to the region.