Emergency Fund Opened for Earthquake and Relief efforts in Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria.
Turkey, Feb. 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A group of US doctors are preparing to fly to Lebanon next week to aid the US organization, Mission of Hope and Mercy with relief efforts in the country and to help people following the devastating February 6 earthquake in Turkey.
The Colorado-based charity works directly with the most vulnerable in Lebanon, neighboring Syria and other countries in the Middle East where people face violence, war, persecution and extreme hardship. Their efforts include providing shelter, food, medicines, schooling and advocacy for thousands of families and support for teachers, schools, care homes and other organizations caring for the most vulnerable.
Collaboration with US based volunteers, doctors and partners has been essential in the organization’s ability to respond quickly and effectively when crisis strikes, as well as providing a stable presence in a region that is ravaged by war, economic and political crisis, violence and natural disasters.
Father Andre YS Mahana heads up the Mission of Hope and Mercy and remains at the spearhead of its efforts. He said, “I am most consoled to see that friends and doctors of the Mission of Hope and Mercy will be coming urgently and very soon to Lebanon in order to conduct a field assessment, a crisis management operation and to participate in our relief efforts.”
This aid comes after a series of unfortunate and disastrous winter snowstorms in Lebanon and the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria earlier this week.
“This historical visit also comes as a response to the economic disasters and medical crises that have severely affected millions of people in the region,” said Fr. Andre.
Although no deaths have been reported in Lebanon from the quake so far, the devastation to homes, businesses and buildings is being felt. The municipality of Beirut and other cities around it have asked people to evacuate buildings which were already severely damaged from the Beirut Explosion of August 4, 2020. The caretaker interior minister in Lebanon called on residents “to evacuate dilapidated buildings if cracks are apparent, to avoid a new disaster.”
Thousands were forced into the streets, to sleep in their cars or to find safe shelter elsewhere. This at a time when the country is being hit by severe weather including snowstorms.
“The real disaster in Lebanon remains that people have no fuel for warmth or electricity, meagre food supplies, no medical supplies or access to affordable healthcare, and over one million children have not returned to school since the Christmas Break,” added Fr. Andre.
According to UNESCWA, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, approximately 80% of Lebanon’s population lives below the poverty line, and 36% are in extreme poverty. The economic crisis has devastated a healthcare sector already in crisis.
“Help from US doctors is critical if we are to address the crisis in Lebanon and the Middle East,” said Fr. Andre. “In Lebanon, medicines and medical supplies, most of which are imported, are in short supply, leading to many deaths and threatening the lives of patients with serious illnesses including cancer. The value of nurses’ and doctors’ salaries has declined rapidly, triggering a mass exodus, and placing a heavy burden on the remaining workforce.”
“I am so grateful to the doctors that are giving their time to come to the aid of these suffering people.”
The US based doctors and volunteers will be joining Fr. Andre and his mission team in Lebanon from February 16 – February 23.
The crisis in Lebanon is not new, it’s decades old but has escalated in the last two years. The ongoing economic crisis has worsened as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in 2020, followed by the devastating August 2020 Port of Beirut blast, which has been described by experts as “one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history.”
“These people are suffering,” said Fr. Andre, who is a tireless advocate for those facing persecution, discrimination, hardship and genocide and dedicates his life to bridging political and religious divides in pursuit of peace and freedom for all peoples.
“Fuel shortages in Lebanon have caused widespread electricity blackouts, lasting up to 23 hours per day, and private generators—a costly alternative—have not been able to fill the gap, leaving large portions of the country in darkness for several hours a day,” continued Fr. Andre. “Hospitals, schools, and industry have struggled to operate. People have been left without electricity and clean water, unable to heat or cool their homes. And those who want to leave are stuck, as there’s no fuel available to fill their vehicles.”
Fr. Andre hopes that the visit by this group of US doctors will shine a light on the plight of the people of the Middle East. “I address people of the US and around the world,” he said, “with resolve, trusting in God and your good will to send help to the people of Lebanon, Turkey and Syria who were affected, directly and indirectly, by major storms, cold winter and the February 6 earthquake.”
“I ask you in the name of our common nature as good human beings to show compassion towards the weak, the hungry, the oppressed, the sick, the weary, the displaced, and the victims of wars and disasters.”
Mission of Hope and Mercy has opened a Relief Fund to assist the people in the Middle East affected by the earthquake and severe storms. Donations can be made at https://missionofhopeandmercy.org/donate/. Please state the purpose of your donation as “Relief Fund winter 2023”) All funds raised will go in full to help people with food, medications, tents and temporary housing, blankets, fuel for warming homes, emergency surgeries if needed, and school education.
Mission of Hope and Mercy is also inviting people in the US to join them in a Week of Prayer, Solidarity and Acts of Charity for the People of Lebanon, Turkey, Syria and Iraq from Sunday February 12 – Sunday February 19, 2023.
CONTACT: Fr. Andre Mahanna Mission of Hope and Mercy 303-882-1406 [email protected]
Disclaimer: The above press release comes to you under an arrangement with GlobeNewswire. AfternoonHeadlines.com takes no editorial responsibility for the same.