2020 in Review
It’s been a tough year for everyone, but our Anera community has really stepped up to make difference for refugees and other vulnerable communities in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan. Here are 12 highlights from our work over the past year.
January | Graduates of our Coding Camp
Our the first cohort of Palestinian coders graduates from our reboot coding camp in Jordan! The 16-week course prepared young Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza for successful careers in technology. The program’s new tech professionals now have in-demand skills and are prepared for job opportunities around the world.
February | Piloting Hydroponics in Gaza
Anera installed a pilot hydroponic greenhouse at the CSSL Women’s Center in Beit Hanoun, Gaza. The hydroponic system allows them to grow food using less water than required by traditional cultivation methods. The hydroponic techniques also avoid the need for pesticides and the pollutants often present in the soil in Gaza. Learn more about this exciting hydroponic garden.
March | Spreading the Word on COVID
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Anera immediately began sharing Arabic health materials — through WhatsApp groups, on the walls of buildings, and on local radio stations — that address a range of topics, from identifying symptoms to protecting your immune system. Check out all of our health education resources.
April | Getting Back to Work in Jordan
Anera resumed our medical aid program in Jordan during a time of pressing need for health care for the most vulnerable. Anera last maintained programs in Jordan in 2012, primarily serving the needs of the Iraqi refugee population. Read about the program.
May | Food for Ramadan
Anera distributed thousands of Ramadan food parcels to families experiencing food-insecurity across Lebanon and Gaza. Many more families are finding their pantries bare this year in the wake of the ongoing economic crisis and loss of work during the COVID-19 closures. Read more about our Ramadan deliveries in Gaza and Lebanon.
June | Medical Donations Milestone
Anera announces that we more than doubled the total value of our medical donations over the past 12 months. Thanks to the support of partners like Americares, Direct Relief, International Health Partners, Islamic Relief USA, METAD and Ray of Light Foundation, Anera increased the total number of medical donation shipments from 44 last fiscal year to 56 in this most recent fiscal year. Read the press release.
July | Employing Youth to Make Masks
Soon after the coronavirus crisis began, Anera started putting our vocational education students who studied sewing to work making masks for distribution across Lebanon. The masks are for frontline workers and others in communities where there is a great need. This program teaches on-the-job, pays a wage to young people, and allows students to give back to their communities. Read how one Beddawi refugee supports his family with Anera’s mask-making work.
August | Tragic Explosion in Beirut
On August 4, 2020 at around 6 PM local time, a pair of explosions rocked Beirut, Lebanon’s capital. The second and much more powerful blast is believed to have originated from a warehouse storing approximately 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate — a highly explosive chemical often used as fertilizer — which had been at the port since 2014. According to reports, a fire at a nearby warehouse ignited the large cache of ammonium nitrate. Read our on-the-ground report.
September | Rebuilding Beirut
Anera is working with partners like Muslim Aid, to repair damaged homes in Beirut, Lebanon. In a city of 1.9 million, at least 300,000 people were displaced from their homes. Initial reports estimate the cost of repairing damage to infrastructure in Beirut will likely be between $10 and $15 billion USD.
October | A Beautiful New Preschool
Anera is pleased to announce that we opened the Ghaith and Nadia Sukhtian Preschool in Till, Palestine. It is the fourth preschool in Palestine that Anera has built with funding from the Ghiath and Nadia Sukhtian Foundation. On Monday, September 7, 2020, 75 preschoolers came to their brand new school for the first time. Read more about the school.
November | Creating a Refugee Cemetery
Anera partnered with the Union of Relief and Development Associations to create a cemetery for Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. URDA bought 1.25 acres of land for the purpose, in response to a tragic episode in which a Syrian refugee child was barred from being buried in a village in northern Lebanon. To help establish the newly purchased land, Anera employed young people in the area to build a fence. They are graduates of our UNICEF-funded vocational training courses on construction and welding in Akkar. Read the story.
December | A Film Recap of the Year
2020 brought unimaginable challenges to Palestine and Lebanon. Anera had to pivot its work not once, not twice, but three times. From “normal” political and economic challenges to revolution and economic collapse, then to COVID-19, and, most recently, to the terrible explosion that rocked Beirut.
We will update this log regularly to provide an ongoing report back to donors on the ways Anera is responding during this COVID-19 crisis. We will also be providing occasional updates about conditions on the ground and our staff. Please…
What a year 2020 has been! Despite all the challenges and pitfalls this year, our donors and supporters went above and beyond in supporting refugees and vulnerable communities in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan.
Diana Abou Hamia, an Anera community engagement officer, reports from Arsal at the Syrian Passage Camp in Lebanon, where we are conducting hygiene awareness sessions for women.