December 31, 2008 | Washington DC - ANERA reports one staff member has vacated her house due to extreme structural damage caused by bombing near the Egyptian border as the general population of Gaza faces its fifth day of bombardment. Air strikes are now shifting to artillery barrage from ships off the coast. Fisheries and docks have been destroyed along Gaza's coast while families living in Jabaliya and Beit Hanoun refugee camps face artillery shelling. The civilian death toll continues to rise.
Since November, no ANERA shipments of medical supplies have been allowed into Gaza.
I am in daily contact with Salah Sakka, ANERA's Director in Gaza. Thankfully he reports that none of our staff are among the injured or killed civilians in Gaza and the ANERA office is intact so far.
In the coming months we will be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars inside of Gaza.
It is unsafe for our staff to go to the office right now, so they are working from home during the few hours a day that there is electricity.
December 29, 2008 | Washington DC - ANERA reports a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza as Israel continues its bombardment of Hamas facilities. Civilians caught in the crossfire have been forced to flee their homes. Hospitals are reporting shortages of the most basic of medical supplies needed to treat the wounded.
ANERA, along with other humanitarian relief organizations, has been prevented from delivering medical and other supplies to refugees in Gaza for two months.
Bill Corcoran, ANERA's President, reports that all staff are safe and the office is undamaged.
In the spring of 2007, Nahr el-Bared, a refugee camp of 40,000 Palestinians in northern Lebanon, was devastated by three months of fighting between Fatah Al-Islam militants and the Lebanese army.
November 28, 2008 | Burghliyeh, Lebanon - Yesterday, ANERA inaugurated a children's park in the municipality of Burghliyeh, a Lebanese and Palestinian community near Tyre.
Motivation for the park came from a series of fun, interactive meetings conducted by ANERA over two months with small groups of children from Burghliyeh. The meetings brought out, early on, the need for a safe, clean and open place for children to play.
We are pleased to announce that ANERA just received a donation of $1 million from the Emir of Qatar to fund our deliveries of vitamin-fortified milk and biscuits to preschool children in Gaza.
ANERA started the Milk for Preschoolers Program in 2003 after co-sponsoring a study that showed young children in Gaza were suffering from anemia, vitamin A deficiency, and chronic malnutrition. Many were at risk of irreversible physical and neurological damage.
The program has provided approximately 20,000 children in over 160 preschools with a box of fortified milk and a packet of fortified …
Jerusalem, Washington, Tel Aviv, September 29, 2008 - American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a "Cooperative Agreement", making ANERA responsible for implementing the Emergency Water and Sanitation and Other Infrastructure Program in the West Bank and Gaza. The $50 million program will span five years.
Through the program, which begins on October 1, 2008, ANERA will provide emergency relief primarily in the water and sanitation sectors and address other infrastructure needs in Palestinian communities.
Randa Mansour-Shousher, Doctor of Audiology, was born in France and educated in the United States. But she has never forgotten her roots. She is Palestinian - her parents from El-Bireh and Jerusalem.
A year ago while visiting Washington, DC, Randa learned about ANERA. And, quickly she decided to join her own expertise with the strengths of ANERA to meet a need in Gaza - helping children with hearing impairments.
We pride ourselves on finding creative responses to seemingly insurmountable obstacles
But our staff in Gaza are down to the very last drops of fuel and we are facing grave challenges that mean we cannot make deliveries as frequently as needs require - sometimes, not at all.
Ambulances aren't running, municipalities have stopped garbage pick up, only a small percentage of children can get to school.
The Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children is a signatory, along with 18 other humanitarian organizations, to a letter to President Bush in advance of his visit to the Middle East, which begins on January 8. The letter calls on the President to lead the international response to the Iraqi refugee crisis and to encourage the Gulf states to contribute desperately needed financial and political support to the countries that are hosting refugees. The letter emphasizes the increasing vulnerability of Iraqi refugee women and children in neighboring countries.
Dear Mr. President:
As humanitarian organizations deeply concerned with the welfare of the people of the Middle East, we are greatly encouraged by your upcoming visit that aims to bolster efforts towards peace and prosperity in the region.