For Immediate Release
Founder and Executive Director, MECA
MECA Ships Medical Supplies Worth Half a Million Dollars to Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon
BERKELEY, Calif. - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is proud to announce that its latest shipment of medical supplies and equipment has arrived in Lebanon. The medical shipment, which is valued at half a million dollars, includes equipment for disabled Palestinian adults and children such as wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers, as well as essential surgical tools. It is being distributed among Lebanon's twelve Palestinian refugee camps which are inhabited by more than 450,000 stateless Palestinians.
Last December, MECA Executive Barbara Lubin visited Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.
“During my visit to the Palestinian refugee camps, what struck me was how many doctors, social workers, psychologists, and nurses attended the meeting with MECA under very short notice. This shows how desperate they are to serve the needs of their people and how helpless they felt without having the necessary supplies, especially for disabled people,” said Lubin.
This is the second shipment MECA has sent to aid Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Last year, MECA sent medical supplies worth over $450,000 for community-run hospitals and clinics in Palestinian refugee camps, such as gloves, needles, syringes, gowns, and lab kits as well as crutches, and enteral feeding and OB-GYN supplies.
Rima Assadi, the Co-director of the Ajial Social Communications Center in Lebanon that supports Palestinian refugees said, “The two medical shipments we received from the Middle East Children’s Alliance helped us a lot. The hospitals and clinics inside of the refugee camps were missing basic medical supplies needed to treat patients, and we are especially grateful that MECA responded to our requests to meet the needs of disabled children by sending pediatric wheelchairs and other proper equipment to help them.”
The urgency to support the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and the demand on the ground has increased significantly over the last few months, as tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees in Syria have fled to Lebanon to escape the violence. According to news reports, many of these displaced families are suffering grave humanitarian conditions and are often denied access to healthcare, medicine, and special equipment due to limited budgets and support.
Over the last few years, the miserable conditions within the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon have deteriorated even further, with greater numbers of refugees from Iraq and Syria pouring in seeking refuge. Today, in the Jalil refugee camp in Baalbek, more than 180 families have arrived and now share small rooms and shanty huts with the camp’s original inhabitants. In some cases, as many as seven families totaling to 35 people have shared one room, and for the camp’s children, many schools were opened in private homes to accommodate the recent arrivals.
"Just as the Palestinians continue to demonstrate their generosity, fighting spirit, and resolve, we hope to continue our efforts and long tradition of providing direct aid to those who desperately need it," Lubin said.
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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.