Photo is from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Yes, snow does fall in the Middle East, but as you can imagine, it has a terrible impact on the refugees in the region still living in tents and other temporary shelters. Heavy snow can crush tents and ruin a family’s possessions, and leave them without shelter in the frigid and wet conditions. This is particularly true of northwest Syria, where snow and heavy rains have caused flooding and damaged roads, water supplies, and shelters across the region.
SCM has a partner in Turkey that can get supplies to northwest Syria and we need your help to get these supplies – blankets, food, medicines, heating oil, etc. We also need to help those affected in Lebanon and Jordan. While snow is not uncommon in the mountainous regions of Lebanon, snow at the coast in towns like Byblos is very rare and disruptive, and they did receive snow there yesterday. Many people in the region are being affected by the cold, snow and rain. Please help us to help them!
In Lebanon, people are going hungry because of the economic collapse. They simply do not have the money to buy food unless they can get US dollars to buy things, and too many people are not able to do that – they don’t have international connections and the banks are not letting people withdraw US dollars, a currency that had been used interchangeably with the Lebanese lira for years, and in fact the lira had been pegged to the dollar until 2019. For a better explanation of the economic downfall of Lebanon, read this article in The Nation magazine.
The economic situation is so dire right now with inflation causing prices to skyrocket, that people who were making a living wage, middle class income, can no longer afford to buy food, get gas for their cars or pay for electricity. So much is imported into Lebanon that is no longer available or in extremely short supply, such as wheat, paracetamol for pain relief and other medications, and the black marketeers are stepping up their activity for a price. Even women’s hygiene products are becoming extremely scarce, causing other effects for women in an already difficult situation.
SCM is active in Lebanon helping get food and medications to the people. We have also set up two free clinics to serve people who can’t afford to go to the doctor. We sent the first of two containers filled with supplies you donated to Lebanon to weeks ago and we have another awaiting the confirmation by the shipping company for the departure date. It will be loaded with more supplies including medical supplies, baby formula and diapers, solar lanterns, and other needed items. Our team in Lebanon will make sure every item is given to someone in need.
The situation is dire in Lebanon. I talked to one of our people that went to assess the situation and the stories he has to tell are heartbreaking. One such story is about a woman that works in a hospital and gets paid 1 million lira a month, which is equal to $25. Her husband is making $20 a month. How do they raise a family on this?
This story is indicative of what the middle class in Lebanon is going through, so imagine what the poor are going through. They are lucky to eat one meal a day and that does not include any meat. The babies have no formula, and they are drinking a water and sugar mixture and are at risk of severe malnutrition.
The Lebanese currency has been so devalued that it is hardly worth anything now, and it is getting worse. Nothing in the history of Lebanon has been this bad, even during the civil wars. We are witnessing a collapse of civil society with critical infrastructure breaking down – electricity is not regularly available and is very sporadic, and water treatment is on the brink of collapse, putting everyone that uses a public water supply at risk.
The SCM volunteers are all committed to helping everyone they can on the ground here and overseas. We have been able since the beginning of the crisis to help:
Two airlifts in partnership with the Jordan Hashemite Charities and the Jordan military, we sent two cargo planes of medical supplies and humanitarian goods to Beirut. These were distributed by our people so we know that they went to the people that needed them
Food parcels distributed in Zahle and Saida several times this year
Cancer medications worth $20K delivered and distributed
Donation to Red Cross Lebanon $250K
Funds were sent for emergency and surgical supplies
Our rep in Jordan flew into Lebanon a number of times with excess luggage of oxygen condensers, solar lanterns and other items from the warehouse in Madaba for distribution
We really need your help more now then ever. We just need as many people as possible to please make a contribution, no matter how much, everything will help. We are trying to raise $50K to get food and other supplies to the people. If we send $5000 that will buy food for one month for 200 families of 4, but that is not enough.
“Once known for its dynamic food, music and culture, Lebanon is now in the midst of the worst economic crisis in modern history. With no clear resolution in sight, the country is experiencing rolling blackouts, a shortage of food and a monthly inflation rate of 56%. The Lebanese Lira joins a list of dozens of failed fiat currencies including the Venezuelan Bolivar, the Zimbabwean Dollar and Argentinian Peso.“
Tatiana Koffman, Forbes (see link for full article)
This crisis has been escalating for a few years now, reaching a peak where the government soon won’t be able to keep the drinking water safe. As the economy collapses, the people need our help even more. Please donate today.
As the end of Ramadan approaches, SCM has been busy distributing food, supplies, clothing and toys to local refugee families and to those in Jordan and Lebanon. Thank you to all who have donated and to our teams in Lebanon and Jordan. Our teams organize and conduct the distributions so SCM can help as many people as possible. It’s not too late to donate for Ramada, so please visit our Donation page.
Here are just a few photos from the various distributions.
Ramadan begins next month on the 12th of April. Please join us in providing food to refugees here in the Seattle area as well as in Jordan and Lebanon. We will be distributing packages of food for families of 4-5 that will have basic necessities such as salt, sugar, beans, pasta, cooking oil, tinned meat, tea, and more, and will feed them for a month.
Ramadan Food Drive Goal: $10,000
We have already begun distributions of clothing for refugees living in Jordan and women from Daraa and also from Damascus came to our warehouse to pick out clothing for themselves. It was Mother’s Day in the Middle East so we had a special distribution for them. Thank you for your donations for our shipping containers as well as monetary donations that enabled this to happen. Don’t forget we have another container going out soon and you can check or previous post for the needed items for that container.
For most people 2020 was the most globally disruptive and devastating year in their lives. Lockdowns, restrictions on movements, persecutions, corruption, high unemployment, etc. This was taking place all around the world. Think of the refugees that had everything taken from them due to wars and unrest in their countries.
The only thing that gives me hope for the human race is the support that SCM gets from people like you. I know that you are going through your own hardships, but at the same time understand what others are going through. Amidst the pandemic and the political and economic hardships our donors are still giving and helping. I am again asking for your help in Lebanon, which took a major blow on August 4th when warehouses that were storing abandoned, unstable chemicals blew up and devastated the port area of Beirut.
With your support we have been able to get vital medications, clothing, and medical equipment to the people. With a following of people with big hearts we have been able to supply over $50,000 worth of medical supplies just this year, but there is still so much more to do. Our fundraising goal for Lebanon over the next few weeks is to raise $35,000 to buy more medications and food and finish setting up the clinics we have planned.
We are also collecting items for a 40ft container that is going out at the end of March to Lebanon. We will be opening a free clinic in Saida for the people in need: giving them medicines, clothing, food vouchers and a place that they can come to learn how to support themselves with training classes. To do this we still need your help. We are trying to raise enough money to get more supplies to the people of Lebanon, including the Syrians and Palestinians that are living there and need help.
Our Regional Manager recently went to Lebanon to bring them medications not available in Lebanon and funds for food that we distributed in the Bekka Valley and in Saida.