Humanitarian Assistance

The war which erupted in Lebanon on July 12, 2006 inflicted tragic losses in human life, housing, and infrastructure before hostilities ceased on August 14. The statistics were staggering: 1,191 dead, 4,405 injured, 974,184 internally displaced, 30,000 homes destroyed, over $2.5 billion in ruined infrastructure, including scores of bridges, roads, schools, and hospitals, thereby erasing the gains of 15 years of recovery and reconstruction in a matter of only a few days.

Although most of the internally displaced were able to return to their villages within weeks of the cease – fire, as of late December 2006 the government of Lebanon reported that over 200,000 were still internally displaced. When the extent of the immense losses that Lebanon was suffering became apparent, HF-USA set up the Hariri Foundation-USA Lebanon Relief Fund within days of the outbreak of the conflict and appealed for contributions to the fund by email, web page, and letter.

The outpouring of generosity in response to this appeal was overwhelming and enabled HF-USA to provide vitally needed relief aid to Lebanon in the form of medical supplies and equipment, food, water, clothing, blankets, and temporary shelter. HF-USA was able to channel contributions to its relief fund directly to Lebanon by working with the Rafik Hariri Foundation in Lebanon which purchased and distributed relief supplies in Lebanon on its behalf to help the displaced and those in need of medical care

Thanks to these donated funds, scores of Lebanese were treated free of charge at the clinics operated throughout Lebanon by the Directorate of Health and Social Services of the Rafik Hariri Foundation under the direction of Dr. Noureddine El-Kouche. Thanks also to these donated funds, the Rafik Hariri Foundation was able to provide food and shelter to many hundreds of the displaced in the schools and universities administered by the Foundation in Saida and Beirut.

After hostilities ended, the Foundation continued to provide medical care and relief supplies to those affected by the war and  also participated in theeffort to reconstruct the homes, schools, and hospitals damaged or destroyed during the conflict. In addition to raising funds to provide Lebanon with relief supplies, Hariri Foundation- USA partnered with several NGOs to ship 241 tons of relief supplies to Lebanon and distribute them in country.

August 1, 2006 Shipment

The first air shipment of 85 tons of relief supplies, containing more than $2 million worth of medical supplies, powdered milk, baby formula, hand soap, and hygiene kits, was donated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints in Utah. The Islamic Relief Worldwide organization donated the airfreight expenses for the shipment. After leaving Salt Lake City on August 1, the shipment was flown to Cyprus where a Hariri Foundation field office transferred it to a High Speed Swift Vessel made available by the U.S. Navy for relief activities. After reaching Beirut on August 4, the relief supplies were distributed by the Rafik Hariri Foundation to various organizations which used them to care for over 20,000 Lebanese.

September 8, 2006 Shipment

For the second and much larger shipment— 156 tons – HFUSA donated half of the airfreight cost for the September 8 flight from the U.S. to Lebanon. This major shipment contained many millions of dollars worth of relief supplies which were donated by the following organizations: the DC Chapter of the American University of Beirut Alumni of North America, Mercy Corps, Church World Service, American Regent, Brother’s Brother, Heart to Heart, Operation USA, World Vision, Global Operations and Development, and the Mennonite Central Committee.

Included in this shipment were clinical, orthopedic, and surgical supplies, medicines, maternity kits, baby food and formula, school and hygiene kits, blankets, cookware, soap, and personal care kits. Among the recipients of these relief supplies were the Ministry of Health of Lebanon, the Rafik Hariri Foundation Directorate of Health and Human Services, Catholic Relief Services, Charities of the Maronite Church, the International Medical Corps, and the Free Evangelical Association.