IOCC Delivers Critical Medical Relief to Lebanon

20,000 Patients to Benefit from $100,000 in Medical Supplies

Baltimore, MD (August 23, 2006) — Nearly $100,000 in antibiotics, surgical supplies and other critically needed medicines has arrived in Beirut. The supplies will help an estimated 20,000 patients for three months. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) arranged for the shipment, which was airlifted from Holland to Damascus, Syria. After weeks of heavy bombing of the Lebanon/Syria highway, safe passage was confirmed on August 21 and the supplies were loaded onto two trucks for the 220-mile extended road trip from Damascus to Beirut through northern Lebanon.

St. George Orthodox Hospital in Beirut will receive one half of the supplies, assembled in accordance with emergency aid standards set by the World Health Organization. The other half (24 boxes) will be divided between five hospitals, three near Beirut’s hard-hit southern suburbs, and two in southern Lebanon. The medical supplies were donated by Northwest Medical Teams.

“These medicines and medical supplies will be of great value and assistance to the poor and to the people who were affected by the recent crisis in Lebanon,” says George Antoun, IOCC Middle East Regional Director. “We are grateful to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East in Damascus for all their assistance in getting this very important medical shipment from Syria to Lebanon. We appreciate all the hard work of our partners, Northwest Medical Teams, and our IOCC colleagues at the home office for sending these much-needed supplies.”

St. George Orthodox Hospital in Beirut, one of the largest in the country, has been serving the many displaced and injured patients that streamed into Beirut since the early days of the conflict. The five other hospitals that will benefit from the shipment are strategically located near Beirut’s southern suburbs and the southern villages which have suffered the most damage.

Lebanon IOCC staff is coordinating efforts with the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, the Middle East Council of Churches, and with the Orthodox Church in areas that IOCC distribution of supplies is taking place.

IOCC has been active in Lebanon since 2001 where it has been implementing a USDA-funded school feeding and education program in over 250 public schools throughout Lebanon. It was this development program that became the platform for IOCC’s emergency efforts when the crisis broke out in July.

To help in providing emergency relief, call IOCC’s donation hotline toll-free at 1-877-803-4622, make a gift on-line by clicking here, or mail a check or money order payable to “IOCC” and write “Lebanon Crisis 2006” in the memo line to: IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.