SCM's team in Lebanon handed out bread yesterday. The situation is getting worse by the day. There are shortages of food and medicines, and people are desperate to feed their families.
SCM plans to keep helping the people of Lebanon with food and medicines as much as we can. We are also sending a container to Beirut that will be filled with humanitarian supplies. Please visit our Amazon list for items we need. You can order strait from the list and the items will be shipped to our office.
We also need larger items like wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, oxygen concentrators, and other medical supplies. If you are local, these items can be dropped off at our store room in Lynnwood. Please contact us for details on this (206-545-7307)
We are planning to send the containers out in mid-March, so please help us get them filled! Amazon:https://a.co/0Ps2qrt
Dear SCM Friends: 2020 was a historic and trying year for all of us. I can’t thank you enough for all the support that you have given us during these tough times. I just want to say thank you to all of you, from your monetary support to the support of goods and donations and that you have given to us, thank you. In 2020 I thought, at times, that we might not make it through the year. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were asking ourselves what we were going to do, what we would be able to do. Everyone was being told to stay home, work from home, go out only for essential things. So many people were suddenly out of work. It was hard to see then how we could get anything done except make phone calls and send emails!
We made a commitment to help keep local refugees in their homes and the lights on. As we all figured things out and the scientists learned more about the virus, we figured out ways to do things like a container loading and clothing drive to raise funds. You stepped up in a big way to keep our refugee rent assistance program going and also to help refugees in Jordan and Greece. Then the explosion at the Port of Beirut happened on August 4th, and we had to switch our focus from the Syrian refugees to the Lebanese people and others that are living in Lebanon. This threw everything into chaos as we scrambled to find a way to help.
But we just do not have the people power to keep this going. People are suffering and our donor base is also suffering from the lack of work and their own issues to keep their families together, safe and healthy. We had to change focus and do it fast. COVID-19 was spreading fast in the region and we had orders from the governments that we had to maintain quarantine, which means that we were not able to do distributions that were so needed in both Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. We needed to get special permissions, which we did, but at the same time we wanted to make sure that our volunteers were also protected.
This made it a very difficult time for SCM. But with the help of people like you are donors and supporters we were able to help and get medicines and other humanitarian supplies out to the right people and still keep our own volunteers safe.
Just a few days ago, an entire refugee camp in Lebanon was burned to the ground, leaving hundreds of people who already had so little, with nothing, once again. So we can’t let up now.
From the first days of lockdown in March, it was clear that SCMs work was going to be challenged by the circumstance, but it would be more important than ever to the people we serve. We adapted and grew to meet the obstacles the best we could. I’m so proud of our incredible team that kept going through it all.
SCM is grateful for you all for your support and for standing by the vulnerable people in our community and in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Greece. We wish you and your loved ones much health joy peace and hope 2021 will be a brighter year.
Thank you again for all your support and remember this is not over yet so please keep standing beside us. We need you more than ever.
SCM is committed to helping the people of Lebanon following the blast in Beirut in August 2020, and the continuing economic crisis the country is embroiled in. The tiny Mediterranean country is host to over a million Syrian refugees, thousands of Iraqi refugees, and nearly a half million Palestinian refugees, and has the highest per-capita ratio of refugees to citizens – a quarter of the people in Lebanon are refugees.
Lebanon has been suffering an economic collapse over the last year and a half, with its banking system being called a Ponzi scheme and collapsing, 45% of the population living in poverty, defaulting on international loans and a credit rating akin to Venezuela’s (very bad). Gulf countries have provided some aid but that is beginning to dry up. There are rolling blackouts or just no electricity at all, especially away from the urban center of Beirut.
To make matters worse, Lebanon could get some of its needed power supply from neighboring Syria but the US recently enacted the Caesar Act that sanctions any person, business, or country doing business with the Al-Assad regime, and Lebanon fears buying electricity would result in the US placing sanctions on Lebanon, something the ravaged country could hardly survive. So for now, in the middle of winter, people are living without electricity. This is particularly bad in the mountains and Bekka Valley. It’s cold and snowy, the nights are longer, and people can’t really do anything but hunker down and stay warm in their homes (which could be a tent, a temporary building, or a cold concrete brick structure!)
While SCM is not a big organization, we are able to help 100’s of families with your support. We are providing LuminAID solar lanterns and phone chargers, food, and medicines but we need to get them more. The need is so great that anything we do is a drop in the bucket compared to what the people need. We provide food because the UN food programs have been cut way back. We provide blankets and solar lanterns because no one else is doing that in certain areas. We provide medications to help people who have seen the prescription drugs they need skyrocket in price or disappear off the pharmacy shelves all together.
The last of the medications were delivered in Lebanon, destined for cancer patients who are in dire need of these drugs. Thanks to Medglobal and SCM donors we procured $25,000 in medications for the people of Lebanon. Our local representative has coordinated the distribution of the medications to various clinics in the hardest hit areas of Beirut and also out of the city in rural areas suffering from the economic collapse of the country.
Please continue to support SCM so we can keep doing work like this to help the people of the Middle East, whether they are refugees fleeing violence or suffering under an economic collapse in their country. They need our help!
Our volunteers George Nasser and others went out yesterday, the 17th of November, and distributed 100 solar lanterns from LuminAID in the Chatoura area of Lebanon. The people living in these camps are the poor, the displaced, and refugees. The solar lanterns will provide light that gives them safety, allows children to study after dark, and some are also cell phone chargers! We need donations to help the people of Lebanon. We will get more solar lanterns and continue to work with our partners to do whatever we can to help – food, medicines, hygiene supplies, and more solar lanterns. Please donate here:
SCM recently partnered with Medglobal to procure cancer medications for patients in Lebanon. We were able to get $25,000 in needed medications that have become very scarce or completely unavailable in Lebanon due to the economic collapse. We received a list of the needed medications from Lebanon’s Ministry of Health and were able to purchase in Jordan, Egypt, and Germany, and even a few in Lebanon. Prices ranged from $100 to $2000 per dose.
Medglobal provided $20,000 in funding. SCM managed the procurement and added and additional $5000 funding via a generous donor. Our regional manager, Basel Sawalha, traveled to Lebanon to oversee the project and get all the medications to our manager there for distribution.
Unfortunately there were 3 or 4 medications that are over $2000 a dose and we could not purchase those at the expense of not being able to get more of another drug that could go to more people.
SCM is thankful for Medglobal’s partnership in this project to get the medications to the people that really need them.
The situation in Lebanon before the blast in August was already precarious due to dysfunctional government agencies and massive economic problems. The people of Lebanon are suffering because of mismanagement by the government and need our help just to get the necessities and prescription medications. Please continue to support our efforts. Even through the pandemic people still need our help.