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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2009
6:00 PM

CONTACT: Middle East Childrens Alliance (MECA)

Barbara Lubin, Ziad Abbas
510-548-0542
510-812-9416 (© Lubin), 510-717-6640 (©Abbas)

Founder of US Aid Organization Brings Four Tons of Medicine to Gaza

BERKELEY, Calif. - January 6 - As Israeli strikes from the ground, air and sea devastate the civilian population in the Gaza Strip, Barbara Lubin, Founder and Director of the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) will be traveling to Gaza tomorrow to bring four tons of medicines for infants and children that MECA purchased form Europe. In Cairo, Egypt, Ms. Lubin will meet MECA's Director of Gaza Projects Dr. Mona El-Farra, a Palestinian physician and human rights leader from Gaza. Together they will accompany a truck envoy carrying MECA's medical aid and additional emergency supplies to treat thousands of wounded civilians in Gaza.

"Children are being killed, wounded, orphaned and made homeless every day. This is a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions and the Middle East Children's Alliance is determined to help the children, regardless of the obstacles and risks." says Lubin. 'We all have a responsibility to the children," she continues. "The death and destruction by the Israeli military, is approved and paid for by our own government. We must send help and we must demand the end of aid to Israel, just as people of conscience have demanded the end of U.S. aid to other countries who carry out barbaric attacks against civilians."

For more than two years Gaza residents have suffered from severe shortages of food, medicine, electricity and other basic necessities due to an Israeli blockade. Even before the recent air attacks and ground invasion, the health system was devastated by the blockade. Dr. El-Farra explains, "The shortage of power threatens the lives of patients on life-support machines and children in intensive care, as well as renal dialysis patients and others. The pharmacies were already nearly empty because of Israeli border closures and the cutoff of international aid. What little supplies were left have gone bad in the absence of refrigeration."

The Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated places in the world, has been under Israeli military occupation for over forty years. Eighty percent of the population is refugees or the descendants of refugees from what is now Israel. More than fifty percent of the population-800,000-are children. In the last ten days 120 children have been killed by Israel's military attacks on Gaza. Hundreds more have suffered life-threatening wounds or will be left with permanent disabilities.

To help MECA send more medical aid to Gaza for thousands of sick and injured people living under siege, visit www.mecaforpeace.org

 

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About Barbara Lubin and the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA)
Founded in 1988 by Barbara Lubin and Howard Levine, The Middle East Children's Alliance is a Berkeley-based non-profit humanitarian aid organization that has delivered more than $10 million in food, medicine and medical supplies to children in the West Bank and Gaza, Iraq and Lebanon. MECA also provides financial assistance to community groups working with children in the Palestine/Israel. Barbara Lubin is a long-time anti-war, children's rights, and disability rights advocate. She was president of the Berkeley School Board form 1984-85. She is a mother of four and a grandmother of seven.

About Dr. Mona El-Farra
Dr. El-Farra is the founder of two children's community centers for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, and an income-generating project for mothers. She spends her time delivering aid and medical care to victims of violence, illness and deprivation; educating mothers about child health and nutrition; and traveling abroad to speak about the human rights crisis in Gaza. As the Director of Gaza Projects for the Berkeley-based Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA), Dr. El-Farra distributes food and medical aid throughout the Gaza Strip.

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