July 25, 2006

Beirut Update 4

ADRA Responds to the Middle East Crisis

capAs the conflict between Lebanon and Israel escalates, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is responding to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Lebanon. The United Nations reports that an estimated 500,000 Lebanese have been displaced, many of whom are fleeing southern Lebanon to what they perceive as safer neighborhoods in Beirut and the northern part of that country. Another 200,000 are estimated to have fled into neighboring countries to escape the violence. 

“Our thoughts are with those affected by the recent conflict in Lebanon and Israel,” says Raafat Kamal, regional director for ADRA in the Trans-European Division. “As part of an initial response, ADRA is mobilizing its resources in the region to respond to the most urgent needs. Fifteen percent of the Lebanese population are internally displaced and are in urgent need of basic food, medicine, shelter, and clean water. We are working hard to aid those whose lives have been devastated by recent events, and we pray for swift resolution,” Kamal added.

Working with local partners and volunteers on the ground, ADRA’s emergency response will provide food aid, blankets, mattresses, and clothing for IDPs sheltering in select schools and community centers. The agency will also train IDP families in structured activities for their children to help mitigate the effects of the trauma, as well as facilitate their psychological rehabilitation. ADRA will also provide crayons, coloring books, and toys for the children who have fled with little, if anything.

“As we respond to conflicts both in the Middle East and elsewhere, we are especially mindful of the tremendous suffering and upheaval facing civilians caught in the cross-fire,” says Charles Sandefur, president, ADRA International. “ADRA’s primary goal is to restore hope through its programs, and we stay in conflict areas as long as it takes to rebuild shattered lives.”

To donate to ADRA, call 1-800-424-ADRA (2372), or click here: Middle East Crisis Fund.