ATFL Launches Humanitarian Effort to Airlift Medical Supplies to Lebanon in Cooperation with Partners from around the US and Lebanon
Washington, DC, August 14, 2020 (ATFL) – In response to the dire humanitarian crisis in Lebanon, the American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL) is working with its partners to arrange shipments of pharmaceutical medications, supplies, and equipment next weekend, with arrival on the following Monday.
Within 24 hours of the Beirut blasts, ATFL started a special webpage Beirut Crisis Response, enlisting dozens of NGOs and community leaders to mobilize resources from around the country. American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA), which has a large presence in Lebanon, agreed to work with the US Embassy in Beirut to offload the shipments, clear customs, and distribute the earmarked materials to various locations around the country.
Direct Relief, based in Santa Barbara, CA, and the Afya Foundation in Yonkers, NY, are providing critical logistics support, preparing, packaging, and documenting the shipments and liaising with the aircraft provider to ensure timely loading of the shipments. As importantly, Direct Relief and Afya are also acting as aggregators of the many requests coming from Lebanon, creating unified lists, and working with ANERA to obtain the specific medications and supplies needed by the hospitals, clinics, and critical care center in Lebanon. They are also acting as receiving points for donations coming from around the US.
ATFL is working with it members and the Lebanese American community from around the United States in a massive mobilization of supplies and donations. Principal among those volunteering to coordinate this effort is Manal Saab, who said, “Indeed the outpouring of aid and help originating from our fellow Lebanese-American citizens has been nothing short of spectacular. There are many hearts suffering for Lebanon and we are all in this together.”
FedEx is generously donating the charter for the first airlift. This is the first of several shipments planned by ATFL, whose President Edward Gabriel said, “I want to expressly thank FedEx and our partners for their support; and especially the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) and Ms. Manal Saab who has been instrumental in facilitating both the supplies and the transportation for this shipment. They are all doing God’s work on behalf of this vital people-to-people effort. This would not have happened if it were not for the outpouring of support from our community and specific organizations including Direct Relief, ANERA, Afya and the Clinton Foundation, with logistical support from the Department of State.”
ATFL is working with the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP) and has established a fund which will purchase supplies and underwrite the costs of logistics and transportation. ATFL has also created a dedicated link to an FAQ page explaining how to donate supplies and prepare the documentation needed for pickup and transportation overseas.
For more information contact ATFL’s Jean AbiNader, who is coordinating this effort…
The American Task Force on Lebanon is 501(C)3 nonprofit organization of prominent Americans of Lebanese heritage, who educate for the strengthening of the historic U.S.-Lebanon relationship. The mission and objectives of ATFL shall always be in the best interest of the United States and will promote the national unity, independence, and prosperity of a democratic and multi-sectarian Lebanon.