Ottawa, July 27, 2021 – Catholic Near East Welfare Association, a papal agency based in Ottawa, has launched its second national campaign to harness the caring hearts of Canadians in support of the Lebanese. Working within its growing network of supporters, the international charitable organization invites Canadians to continue to show their solidarity for a suffering Lebanese population through prayer and, when and where possible, donations. CNEWA hopes to raise an additional $500,000. Since the explosion that destroyed part of Beirut on August 4, 2020, CNEWA has provided more than $6 million in assistance, $1 million from Canada alone.
“I cannot thank Canadians enough for their generosity to CNEWA but especially to our common cause of bringing emergency help, and hope, to Lebanon,” says Carl Hétu, national director for CNEWA Canada. “As the crisis intensifies, with its deepening suffering, fear and instability, I invite all Canadians to continue their support in whatever way they can. It’s truly amazing to see the extent to which Canadians are caring and interested in extending their support. We are making an impact.”
Regional conflicts, political instability, the COVID-19 pandemic and the destruction from last year’s port explosion has worsened the country’s already high rate of inflation and caused rampant shortages in essentials including food, electricity and medications. The World Bank, in its June 1 Economic Monitor Report, stated that Lebanon is facing one of the world’s worst crises since the mid-nineteenth century.
“We are hanging by a thread,” says Michel Constantin, director for CNEWA’s Lebanon office and a resident of Beirut. “We’re at our weakest in recent memory – but it’s in our hour of greatest need that we see the help of people around the world who are united with us through prayer and sharing of resources. I cannot thank Canadians enough for their unwavering support.”
In Lebanon since 1949, CNEWA works in partnership with 14 church and church-related institutions with the priority to ensure that Christians continue their mission of witness, service and prayer in Lebanon. Part of that mission is helping all persons in the country through humanitarian outreach. Over the past year, CNEWA’s partners have contributed to food box programs to families, medical services, reconstruction and helping elderly, children and persons with disabilities.
Launched this week, the CNEWA Canada campaign harnesses most of the organization’s resources including social media, website, advertisements and personal and general appeals to its generous donor base. Funds raised will be directed to the CNEWA office in Beirut which, in turn, will distribute funds to local churches that offer essential health and emergency services and pastoral outreach.
Donations can be made online at cnewa.ca, selecting ‘Lebanon’ as the recipient region for the gift, or by phone at 1-866-322-4441. Cheques can be mailed to CNEWA Canada at 223 Main Street, Ottawa, ON K1S 1C4, marked “Lebanon”. Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $10 or more.
Learn more by reading CNEWA’s Lebanon activity report at cnewa.ca. (coming soon)
CNEWA has also partnered with Salt + Light Media to produce a 30-min TV special featuring interviews from people in Beirut and the work of CNEWA-supported organizations. The program will air Tuesday, August 4 at 8 pm on Salt + Light TV. See trailer here.
An agency of the Holy See, CNEWA works for, through and with the Eastern churches throughout the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe. Founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, CNEWA provides pastoral and humanitarian support to the churches and people of the East. CNEWA Canada was incorporated as a registered charity by Canada Revenue Agency in 2003.
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