In late 2010, the Arab Spring was sweeping across North Africa, eventually toppling governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and plunging other countries into crisis. Bahrain, Yemen and Syria also experienced unrest with Yemen and Syria’s conflicts boiling over to civil war.
Just after war broke out in Syria in 2012, SCM began preparing for the humanitarian needs of the people fleeing the violence. By 2013 we had already had our regional director monitoring the situation in northern Jordan and had been sending money to our office in Jordan to buy needed supplies and helping refugees who had arrived in Jordan. We had also had medical missions later in 2012 to help people coming across the border.
Here is a look back at some of the faces from our March 2013 medical mission to Jordan. The children in these photos are all 10 years older and some may not remember their homeland at all now.
Consider donating to help Syrians now experiencing another catastrophe – the massive earthquake in February of this year. Those that stayed within Syria all throughout the civil war and live in the north of the country are now trying rebuild their lives with very little help from the government or the international community. SCM has been providing tents, food, blankets, solar power equipment and more but we need your help. https://www.scmmedicalmissions.org/donations/earthquake-aid/
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.
Our SCM representative in Lebanon, George Nasser, along with our Regional Director Basel Sawalha and George’s family took quilts, baby supplies, solar lanterns and food up to the Bekka Valley where the weather is decidedly wintery. Many are living without electricity, and food and medications are in short supply or have had the prices raised to untenable levels.
SCM is committed to helping the people of Lebanon that are suffering, not from war or natural disaster (although we did send a lot of aid right after the explosion in Beirut to help with the recovery), but from an economic collapse in their country.
Thank you for your continued support. We hope you can make a donation, any amount is helpful, by the end of the year.
SCM has been working hard this last month helping the people in the Syrian, Afghani, and Iraqi communities in the Pacific NW with rental assistance, utilities, and food. Our doors are open, and we try and help as many people as we possibility can with your assistance. Thanks to your donations, we were able to pay out almost $35,000 in July in this effort. This is keeping families in their homes and food on the table.
We have also been able to send funds inside Syria for medical and food supplies to the areas of Idlib and Aleppo. We had a food drive for Eid in Jordan, as well as a distribution of humanitarian goods. We worked with our representative in Samos Greece to supply refugees there with a new emergency medical clinic tent that was donated to us by Direct Relief of California. We also sent funds to purchase firewood so the refugees in Samos do not need to burn plastic to cook their food.
We have been able to help some from the LGBT community in Europe to move to other areas that are safer for them and applying for their paperwork to take asylum in Canada. We have four people right now we are working with from Syria. We have teamed up with the Men’s Chorus in Seattle to help us with this.
The Eid, which was on the 31st of July, was a happier celebration for about 50 local refugee families to whom we were able to give Eid meal supplies. Eid presents (donated toys) were also delivered or picked up at our office for over 100 children.
We are still trying to find jobs for some refugees that were laid off and having a hard time getting back up on their feet. This has been a difficult time for all. If you know of any jobs please do let us know. Also, remember we are still taking monetary donations for rental assistance. We have no idea when this pandemic will end, but until it does stay safe wear a mask and pray for all that are still needing assistance.
Donated goods were distributed for Eid in the town of Naour, south of Amman. 35 families received items that included clothing, quilts, shoes, handmade toys, and more. There were 5 pregnant women, and there were also Jordanian families in need included in the distribution as well as Syrian refugee families.
Thank you to our donors, including Quilters Beyond Borders, Dolls of Hope, and everyone else who has generously donated funds and supplies. We couldn’t do this without you!
SCM did a distribution on May 21st during Iftar, the meal during Ramadan that breaks the fast at sunset. These children are suffering cancer, so it was very special to be able to give them a gift to help lighten their spirits.