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!)
Another looming crisis for Lebanon is the fight over the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) program that provides food and other types of assistance to the Palestinian refugees. Israel and the UAE are working to get it shut down, and the program, which has been running in the red due to budget shortfalls and non-payment of countries like the US, is in dire financial stress.
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.
Please make an end of the year, tax deductible donation to help us continue our work in Lebanon. Your donations go directly to help the people of Lebanon. https://www.scmmedicalmissions.org/donate/