Pontifical Mission and Lebanese Relief

Days after fighting erupted, the Pontifical Mission’s Beirut staff rushed aid to families – Christian and Muslim – displaced by the war. Coordinating its efforts with local church officials, other relief agencies and the High Relief Committee of the Lebanese government, the Pontifical Mission:

  • Distributed aid packages – including food, hygienic supplies and clothing – to 2,150 families who sought refuge in Jbeil, Kesserwan and Metn
  • Distributed infant formula for 1,608 children and diapers for 1,885 children
  • Provided water for 58 families in Dbayeh, a camp near Beirut, and electricity for 400 families in El Qaa, a village near the Syrian border.

The Pontifical Mission’s partners in Europe – Church in Need, Missio Aachen, the Archdiocese of Cologne, Missio München, Holy Childhood, Misereor and Kinderhilfe Bethlehem – raised more than $240,000 for relief efforts. In addition, the Pontifical Mission’s sister agency, CNEWA, has raised more than $891,000 from generous donors throughout North America.

Lebanon’s needs have not ended with the cessation of hostilities. Following the 14 August ceasefire, the Pontifical Mission’s Beirut staff, in coordination with the Maronite and Melkite Greek Catholic bishops in Tyre, rushed to southern Lebanon to assess damages and the needs of returnees. Immediate postwar relief included:

  • Wired homes and supplied electricity to 530 families in the villages of Ain Ebel and Yaroun
  • Rushed generators to 4 public schools and some 80 families in Marjeyoun
  • Installed 306 water tanks in the villages of Ain Ebel, Baraashite, Debel, Klayaa, Safad el Battikh and Yaroun
  • Distributed hygienic supplies to 300 families in Tyre
  • Purchased a plow for 60 farming families in Baraashite.

The Pontifical Mission has worked in southern Lebanon since the Israeli withdrawal in 2000.

After the latest catastrophic fighting, the agency is redoubling its commitment and efforts, focusing its long-term support on families, many of whom are Christian, whose homes, farms and shops were damaged in the fighting. Damaged or destroyed churches and church-administered institutions (schools, clinics, community centers) also require immediate attention.

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