URGENT: Aid to Nahr al Bared

05.28.2007 |

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

A growing humanitarian crisis is occurring in North Lebanon at the Palestinian Camp, Nahr Al Bared Camp. Heavy fighting began on Sunday 20 May, with shelling on the camp itself beginning on Tuesday, May 22. According to statistics by UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees in the Near East, approximately 31,000 registered Palestinians live in the camp, although actual statistics, including the unregistered persons are closer to around 35,000.

When the fighting began many civilians remained still in the camps, caught in the cross-fire, and evacuated during a ceasefire and has continued with only sporadic gunfire afterwards. While exact figures are still unknown at this point the number, approximately 25% of the refugees are seeking refuge in UNRWA schools. The majority of families–approximately 75% have sought refuge with other families in the nearby Badawi Palestinian Camp in the North of Lebanon and increasingly refugees are streaming into Palestinian camps in Beirut–Shatila, Mar Elias, and Bourj al Barajneh.

Many civilians were injured and have chronic illnesses and hospitals as well as clinics are running low on medical supplies, as well as there are limited basic necessities for all the IDPs as they fled their camp with just the clothes on their back. The situation is extremely critical and requires additional aid and supplies to prevent a further increase to the already growing humanitarian crisis. Aside from international organizations, such as UNRWA, civil society organizations and grassroots groups–such as professors and students from the American University of Beirut, and the Committee of the Festival of the Right of Return, began immediate operations to gather supplies and take care of IDPs and support hospitals caring for the wounded.

Immediate funds are required to buy the supplies needed for the IDPs. We have adopted 50 families, whom the Nahr al Bared Relief Campaign is taking care of, by purchasing items inside the refugee camps to supply the refugees with the supplies they need (medicine, diapers, kitchen materials, clothing, and hygiene kits). While donations of clothing and other items are welcome, we feel it is important to collect cash donations as the economy of the Badawi refugee camp is already suffering because the NGOs inside the camp are bringing all their aid in from outside. Thus, we are supplying people inside Badawi, Bourj al Barajneh and Shatila camps with goods from their own community.

The Naher Al Bared Relief Campaign is working with Palestinian and grassroots organizations who are on the ground in the camps where people have fled: Badawi, Shatila, Bourj al Barajneh. We are seeking funds to assist us in our relief efforts. We are working as a grassroots organization because 80% of the relief from NGOs, including the Red Cross/Crescent and the UN, are only giving aid to refugees in the UNRWA schools, thus only reaching 25% of the population and no NGOs are on the ground in the camps in Shatila and Bourj al Barajneh as of yet. Thus far we have given food aid, medicine, hygiene kits, diapers, and baby formula to Nahr al Bared refugees who are internally displaced in four refugee camps in Lebanon. We have adopted 50 families in Shatila whom we will care for, in cooperation with Palestinian NGOs and political parties inside the camp, and we are seeking to raise $1500 per day to take care of these families. There are many more in need, and we will include more families depending on our fundraising; please consider giving us anywhere from $100 to $1000 to help support our efforts.

For more information about our project please visit:
http://nahrelbareddonations.blogspot.com/

To donate funds here are the details:

Donation Account Details For tax-deductible donations to the Nahr el Bared Relief Campaign please use the following account:

AUB Office of Development

https://rtf.aub.edu.lb/

Please make sure to specify that your donation is going to the Nahr el Bared refugees.

To contact us:

Rami Zurayk: Professor at the American University of Beirut Mobile: +961.3.733.227 rzurayk@aub.edu.lb

Rania Masri: Professor at the University of Balamand Mobile: +961.3.135.279 rania.masri@balamand.edu.lb

Marcy Newman: Professor at the American University of Beirut Mobile: +961.3.977.812 marcynewman@gmail.com

Source: Norman Finkelstein

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