COVID-19 in Lebanon and Palestine: Anera Response Log

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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 visit and share this page often!

We are also creating Arabic-language COVID-19 health materials addressing common questions about the virus. Please feel free to share these resources and come back to check for updates.

August 6, 2021 | Lebanon Situation Report

Since early 2020, Lebanon has faced worsening social, health and economic challenges which have affected all sectors of the population. The port explosion caused significant damage and combined with the effects of COVID-19 and the collapse of the national currency to create a grave crisis threatening the livelihoods and security of the people of Lebanon. 

Following the Beirut blast in August 2020, the Lebanese government leadership resigned, leaving Lebanon to be run by a caretaker administration. A year later, the economic crisis created by the blast and subsequent collapse of the government continues to worsen. The international community offered loans and aid to Lebanon contingent on Lebanon’s ability to form a government. After nine months of political deadlock, former prime minister-designate Saad Hariri resigned on July 16. On July 26, the Lebanese parliament named Najib Mikati as the new prime minister-designate. Following his appointment, Mikati stated that he would work toward forming a government and implement a French plan to counter the economic crisis that includes creating a government of specialists in order to enact reforms and resume foreign aid.

However, it is still uncertain whether Mikati will be able to form a new government before elections are held next year. especially since he belongs to the ruling elites of the country who are widely held responsible for the pervasive corruption and governing paralysis in the country. Read our report to learn more.

1st page of Anera's Lebanon situation report from July 16, 2021
Anera Lebanon Situation Report for August 6, 2021

June 11, 2021 | COVID-19 Situation Update for Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan

Jordan’s vaccination program has administered at least 1,904,235 doses of COVID-19, while numbers are much lower in Lebanon and Palestine, especially Gaza.

May 3, 2021 | COVID-19 Situation Update for Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan

Active cases appear to be slowly receding after an extreme surge in Gaza that has been largely attributed to the emergence of the UK variant. Both Gaza and the West Bank are extremely fragile as over-strained medical centers attempt to cope with the after-effects. The rollout of the vaccine remains minimal, with less than 4% of the population in Palestine having received at least one dose. Lebanon is only a little farther along in its vaccine rollout, as the combined political and economic crises in the country continue to hamper the national vaccine plan. Jordan is ahead of the others in its vaccination campaign and the government is including services for refugee camps.

There is also mounting concern over the emergence of the “double-mutant” strain in India, which has been shown to be highly infectious. There is not enough data yet to determine the efficacy levels of the current vaccines against this new strain, though governments are proactively placing limits on air travel. As we near the end of Ramadan, there have been some reports of uncertainty as to whether receiving the vaccine violates the fasting period. Religious authorities have affirmed that receiving the vaccine is not in violation of any fasting standards. Awareness of this fact is important moving forward, as vaccine hesitancy is an important barrier to be overcome.

March 3, 2021 | Palestinian West Bank COVID-19 Situation Update

To date, there have been 185,338 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Palestine. Of these, 167,744 people have recovered and 2,058, tragically, have died. In the West Bank, there are now 15,536 active cases. The first case in the West Bank was confirmed on March 3, 2020, nearly one year ago.

The number of confirmed cases has rapidly increased to the point where some of the hospital occupancy rates reached 100%, especially in the southern and central governorates (Ramallah, Hebron, and Bethlehem).

Out of the 15,536 active cases, there are 116 patients in intensive care units — 29 of them requiring ventilation. The number of tests conducted in the West Bank has increased by 25% during the period from February 19th to the 25th, to 38,666.

Vaccination: Authorities expect the delivery of 37,440 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to arrive sometime in March. Frontline health workers will be priority recipients for vaccination from these doses. A further allocation of 240,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will come in several more shipments.

February 25, 2021 | Food and Hygiene Aid for Refugees and Vulnerable Families in Lebanon

Anera recently distributed food and hygiene aid to vulnerable families in Beirut, Lebanon that was generously donated by our friends Refugee Solidarity Group from Liverpool, UK. Thank you to everyone who donated to Refugee Solidarity Group’s campaign to make this happen!

February 24, 2021 | Situation Report on Vaccines in Palestine and Lebanon

Lebanon and Palestine are just now distributing the first round of vaccines. Gaps in the procurement and distribution process, especially for refugee communities, is creating uncertainty around capacities and timing for coverage. Take a look at our new report to learn more.

FIrst page of Anera's February 24, 2021 situation report on COVID-19 vaccines in Palestine and Lebanon.

January 31, 2021 | Delivering daily healthy, hot meals to 65 vulnerable families in COVID-19 self-quarantine in Gaza

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is worsening by the day. The number of new cases of COVID-19 is rising at an alarming rate, with nearly 50,000 cumulative cases reported. The rapid spread of the coronavirus has forced communities to close businesses, schools, meeting and wedding halls, grinding Gaza’s economy to a halt. Unemployment in Gaza, already high, continues to worsen, with women especially hard hit.

In North Gaza, Anera has begun employing 16 women from the Cooperative Society for Saving and Lending (CSSL) women’s center, our local partner, to prepare food for 65 families who are in isolation due to the pandemic. Delivery of meals not only helps vulnerable families financially, it also encourages them to stay home and limit exposure to other members of their communities.

This program also benefits 20 local farmers, who earn much-needed extra income, providing fresh produce each day.

Food insecurity in Gaza has resulted in poorly diversified diets. The World Food Programme reported that 50% of Gazans have “very low levels of essential minerals and vitamins.” The meals the women at CSSL prepare are nutritious and familiar, consisting of meat, rice, bread, fruit, and traditional side dishes. The nutritional content addresses the lack of vitamins and nutrients in many Gazans’ diets to help families recover from COVID-19 infections.

As each family’s quarantine lifts after 14-21 days and another isolates, Anera will keep the supplies of healthy meals coming. The program will run for six months and and serve approximately 5,400 individuals with daily meals during isolation.

December 29, 2020 | PPE Helps Al Quds Hospital Staff Stay Resilient

Thanks to a generous donation of medical supplies by Direct Relief, Anera recently distributed essential PPE to Al Quds Hospital in Gaza.

Even as the numbers of COVID-19 cases are rising, quality eye and face protection for hospital staff is virtually nonexistent.

Fearing an influx of COVID-19 cases that could threaten the health of other patients, the hospital has set up a tent to test patients before they enter the building. Hospital staff are now identifying an average of 30 new COVID-19 cases each day. Patients who test positive are referred to more specialized facilities.

Read the full story >>

Inside a tent set up at the entrance of Al Quds Hospital to take the temperature of patients.
A tent set up at the entrance of Al Quds Hospital to take the temperature of patients.

December 23, 2020 | COVID Situation Report from Palestine

Even as immense progress toward a vaccine is being made, COVID-19 continues to spread across Palestine. Recent reports indicate that medical facilities in Gaza and the West Bank are dipping to critically low levels of essential items.

December 2, 2020 | 1.35+ Million Masks Made in Lebanon

Since March, students from Anera’s UNICEF-funded sewing courses have been earning an income making face masks for frontline workers, residents of camps and other vulnerable communities, and schools.

November 20, 2020 | Gaza Mask Production Project

This week we distributed 7,200 cloth face masks to 1,155 marginalized families across Gaza.

We are six weeks into our mask production project, implemented in partnership with our local partner, the Cooperative Society for Saving and Lending. The program will produce 90,000 face masks in total. Half of the masks have already been made and distributed, and the rest will be in the hands of families by the end of December.

The project hired eight women at the women’s center to sew the comfortable and reusable face masks. The salaries will also help the women — all primary breadwinners — to support their families during a time when unemployment is rising in Gaza.

People in Gaza are in dire need of this protective wear, as COVID-19 is now spreading widely in the territory. Palestinian media reported today that the Palestinian territories are seeing the highest ever daily count of new COVID-19 cases.

Women at CSSL press the cloth face masks.

November 18, 2020 | Gaza Staff Works from Home

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Gaza is rising at an alarming rate, with 600 new cases reported in just the last 24 hours. Cumulative cases in Gaza are now 12,000+, and while this is a small number relative to the overall population, the ability to test and treat new and existing cases in hospitals and clinics is limited. Anera’s Gaza staff are therefore going to largely be working from home for the foreseeable future. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in order to make a determination of when it is safe to return to the office.

November 16, 2020 | Delivering Rapid COVID-19 Tests to Lebanon

For months, medical experts like Firas Al Abiad, head of the Rafik Hariri University Hospital have been warning that a surge in COVID-19 cases will overwhelm the country unless serious precautionary measures are implemented. Now, the number of COVID-19 cases is reaching new heights. Lebanon’s healthcare system is on the verge of collapse and its medical institutions are pleading for support. There are insufficient numbers of beds, medical equipment and tests in the country to meet the needs.

With the support of our partner Americares, Anera has provided COVID-19 rapid tests to two of Lebanon’s key healthcare institutions responding to the pandemic. We recently delivered 3,000 tests to Rafik Hariri University Hospital and 2,000 tests to the American University of Beirut’s Medical Center.

“This test produces quick and accurate results. For example, a PCR test needs 24 to 48 hours to indicate whether a person carries the coronavirus or not, while this test requires only 15 minutes to give us the final result.” 

— Dr. Rita Feghali, head of the medical laboratory at Rafik Hariri Hospital

She explains that the rapid tests are an important tool that expands their testing capacities.

“Many people who don’t have enough time to wait for 48 hours, ask for this quick and accurate test. It should be noted that PCR test cannot be replaced by this one — but this test clearly shows us if a person is likely to be infected with the coronavirus or not.”

Dr. Rita Feghali, head of the medical laboratory at Rafik Hariri Hospital

Healthcare personnel, from first responders and nurses to dentists, are constantly interacting with patients and need to be tested on a regular basis to ensure their own safety and that of others. That is why the rapid tests play such a vital role. 

Dr. Feghali tells us,

“I would like to really insist on the importance of constantly having this test present at our hospital. There has been a shortage for quite some time. 

“Due to the rapid increase in the number of people infected with the coronavirus, I must stress the importance of continuous testing. We can’t underestimate this dangerous virus.”

November 9, 2020 | Hygiene Awareness and Kits for Families in North Lebanon

Our team in North Lebanon is working closely with local communities to provide hygiene education and kits to families in the fight against COVID-19. Project funded through UNICEF.

November 3, 2020 | 1.2+ Million Masks Made in Lebanon

Since March, students from Anera’s UNICEF-funded sewing courses have been earning an income making face masks for frontline workers, residents of camps and other vulnerable communities, and schools.

October 7, 2020 | Making Face Masks in Gaza

Eight women are currently producing masks in Beit Hanoon, Gaza. They are working to complete 7,200 masks that will be distributed next Monday to 857 families in Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia and Jabalia.

The women are members of the Cooperative Society for Saving and Lending, one of Anera’s key partners in Gaza. This women’s center provides valuable services promoting economic and social empowerment to bolster the ability of women to become more independent. Their programs include small income generating activities for women, and services promoting their legal and economic rights.

The patterns the women in Gaza are using come from our staff in Lebanon, where participants in our vocational education courses on sewing have produced nearly 1.5 million masks so far.

“We’re going through some tough times right now in Gaza. COVID is making our lives challenging. It’s gotten harder to provide our families with the basics like food. I’m glad to have this work producing masks. I have all the materials and resources I need. It feels good to be able to help other families. This project gives a sense of hope during unpredictable time,” says Zohoor from Beit Hanoun.

October 2, 2020 | Anera in 2020

At our Global Gala today, we shared this film collage of the work our teams in Lebanon and Palestine have done to respond to COVID-19 and to the Beirut explosion.

September 18, 2020 | Face Masks for Children in Lebanon

Young people from Anera’s vocational education classes are rapidly making 500,000 masks for children — 200,000 are for schools and 300,000 are for health clinics. We designed many of the masks especially to fit children aged three to eight.

Anera is running three shifts in Bekaa with 40 of our sewing students to produce 200,000 face masks for Lebanon schools.

September 15, 2020 | Fearful, Sad and Shocked in Gaza

Ahmad Najjar
Ahmad Najjar, Anera’s medical donations program coordinator in Gaza

“Since March, all those entering or returning to Gaza 🇵🇸 (the two crossings are at Rafah and Erez) have been required to enter into quarantine for 21 days. But despite these precautionary measures, now it has invaded the community.

Ahmad Najjar, Anera’s medical donations program coordinator in Gaza.

Read Ahmad’s full account of the situation in Gaza and what YOU can do to help.

September 10, 2020 | Delivering Hot Meals for Quarantined COVID-19 Patients in Lebanon

In Lebanon, Anera is delivering hot meals to COVID-19 patients quarantined in their homes. With the ongoing economic and political crises and the lack of social services, many families have become food insecure. The August 4 explosion at the port in Beirut made matters worse. These deliveries come at a critical time for families trying to recover from coronavirus in Lebanon. Program in partnership with UNICEF Lebanon.

September 4, 2020 | PPE Delivery in Gaza

Thank you, Ray of Light Foundation, for providing the funds to purchase these vitally necessary items in Gaza.

September 1, 2020 | A Slow Motion Disaster is Unfolding in Gaza

The latest figures out of Gaza are 319 cases confirmed and five deaths. The cases are concentrated in Gaza City and the north and people are staying home or in their immediate neighborhoods. Jack Byrne, our country director in Palestine describes the situation there as “a slow motion, invisible disaster unfolding.” There are layers and layers of suffering, given the already dire circumstances Gazans face with food shortages, lack of employment, and severe power cuts. Fuel has started coming back in to Gaza this morning, so people will be able to run generators.

Anera’s immediate response to the new reality in Gaza is to deliver medicines, medical supplies, and PPE. We have six shipments coming soon. Anera will also be giving food vouchers to thousands of families, thanks to funding from IRUSA. And, finally, we are supporting women at the Cooperative Society for Saving and Lending (CSSL) in Beit Hanoun to make face masks using specs our Lebanon colleagues follow.

August 27, 2020 | Delivering PPE

Our medical aid team got special permission today to go out during the lockdown in Gaza to finish delivering a shipment of PPE, crucially important as COVID-19 cases are ticking up.

Anera staffers conduct an inventory of PPE in our Gaza distribution center.

August 25, 2020 | We’re Going Through Another Tough Period in Gaza

A Palestinian boy uses a gas lamp during a power cut after Gaza's sole power plant shut down amid tension with Israel, in an impoverished household in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
A Palestinian boy uses a gas lamp during a power cut after Gaza’s sole power plant shut down amid tension with Israel, in an impoverished household in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. Mohammed Zaanoun, photographer.

“Last night, we learned that there are four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Gaza. Though this might not sound like many, it’s a huge concern here. These are the first known cases that have been detected outside of the quarantine centers located at the Rafah and Erez crossings into Gaza. Up until yesterday, we could take comfort in the knowledge that there were no uncontained cases of the virus, since there are so few people who are allowed in and out of the territory. But yesterday’s news changes everything.”

Rania Elhelo, Anera’s communications manager in Palestine.

Read the rest of Rania’s post and her reflections on how the new COVID-19 cases and the recently worsened power cuts are impacting life and education in Gaza.

August 24, 2020 | New Cases in Gaza

Gaza reported its first cases of COVID-19 in the general population on Monday, as authorities confirmed four infections at the Maghazi refugee camp. What’s notable about these cases is that they are the first that are among people inside of Gaza and not in the quarantine centers at the Rafah and Erez crossings for people returning home from outside of the territory.

Gaza is on lockdown for 48 hours.

August 20, 2020 | Delivering Food to Families in Isolation Centers

Today we delivered meals and soap to 80 quarantined individuals who have contracted COVID-19 in the Ein El Hilweh and Nahr El Bared Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Anera staff deliver food parcels in Nahr El Bared camp,

We also received, in our Gaza distribution center, a pallet of medicines that treat asthma and other chronic illnesses. And we finished distributing COVID-related emergency medicines and medical supplies for Shifa Hospital. We bought the items locally with funding from the Ray of Light Foundation.

Anera staffers in Gaza are inventorying COVID-related supplies in our distribution center before delivering them to Shifa Hospital.

August 19, 2020 | Update on Anera Face Mask Production in Lebanon

August 14, 2020 | PPE Delivery to Hebron

Anera’s distribution center worker Mohammad Ma’tan unloads boxes of N95 masks, medical masks, coveralls and gloves at the Al Ahli Hospital in Hebron, West Bank. This is crucial #PPE to fight the spread of #COVID-19.

August 12, 2020 | PPE and Medical Supply Delivery to Gaza

August 6, 2020 | Received a Large Shipment of PPE in Palestine

We just received in our Gaza and West Bank distribution centers three pallets in each location containing N95 masks, medical masks, coveralls and gloves. The total number of personal protective items items is nearly 110,000.

Mohammad Abu Jahal, a worker in our Gaza distribution center, sanitizes the new shipment of PPE we just received.

July 25, 2020 | Supplying PPE to Al Quds Hospital in Gaza

Anera’s medical donations team has procured and delivered supplies from the local Gaza market at a competitive and reasonable price to fill the shortfall in PPE supplies for Al Quds Hospital and 12 other hospitals and clinics in Gaza. PPE supplies include disinfectant gel, ethyl alcohol, face masks, gloves, oxygen masks, nursing caps, shoe covers, medical gowns, and thermometers. Read more about this PPE delivery in Gaza.

Hazem Ilian
Hazem Ilian, a nurse in Al Quds Hospital, wears his new PPE in the dialysis department.

July 24, 2020 | Update on Anera Face Mask Production in Lebanon

July 21, 2020 | Delivering PPE in Gaza

Anera has locally procured and delivered to 13 Gaza hospitals and clinics personal protective equipment like disinfectant gel, alcohol, face masks, gloves, oxygen masks, hairnets, shoe covers, medical gowns, and thermometers.

Dr. Safah Howar, the Al Quds Hospital warehouse manager, reports: “We use 10 times more of this protective equipment than in normal times…There have been times recently when the gloves and masks were missing from local stores.”

Dr. Safah Howar (wearing PPE from Anera) has worked as the Al Quds Hospital warehouse manager since 2001, when Anera began delivering donated medicines and other health care supplies to the hospital.

July 15, 2020 | Update on Anera Face Mask Production in Lebanon

July 14, 2020 | Uptick in COVID-19 Cases in Palestine

Over the past month, Palestine has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, with 6,764 cases reported as of today. Data comes from Worldometer.

July 9, 2020 | Update on Anera Face Mask Production in Lebanon

Abdel Nasser, 22, is making masks for Anera. A Syrian refugee, he comes from a family of nine and is currently the only one who has a paying job. With the income he gets from making masks, he can pay the rent and provide some necessities, like food and diapers.

July 8, 2020 | Lebanon Needs Your Help to Prevent Famine

We, the Anera community, need to provide support to maintain people’s dignity in Lebanon right now.

Over the last year, Lebanon’s economy has collapsed, leading to rapid inflation — made worse by the COVID19 pandemic and a deteriorating political environment. The poverty is crushing. It has an impact on all aspects of life — food, shelter, school, health and work.

We are in emergency mode — but the good news is that our Anera team, along with our local partners, is adept and effective in responding. What we need to deliver right now is food, hygiene products, medicines, and cash to Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese families throughout Lebanon.

If YOU have the means to help, PLEASE DONATE HERE TODAY

🧿 $30 can provide a disinfection kit with bleach, soap 🧼 and laundry powder for one household.

🧿 $80 can provide a family with a package of basic dry food 📦🥫🍲 to last a month.

🧿 $100 can provide a family with precious dollars 💵 through our cash transfer program, so they can pay bills and buy necessities.

🧿 $250 can deliver $10,000 worth of 💊 donated cancer and chronic disease medications

Do what you can for Lebanon. 🙏🏼 Thank you!

July 6, 2020 | Advice for Children Hunkered Down During COVID-19

Warde Bou Daher is a psychologist working in Beirut, Lebanon to raise awareness of mental health topics, issues and taboos. We are proud to present an excellent series of films with guidance during COVID-19 times. This first one is for children.

July 2, 2020 | Lebanon is on the Verge of Famine

A headline from the Telegraph this week says it all: “Lebanon heads for famine as pandemic accelerates hunger…there are fears the country is about to repeat the 1915-18 famine.”

The news from my country has been grim for some time now, but it gets more dire every day. We are in an unprecedented situation. The Lebanese lira has lost over 80 percent of its value. As of this writing, the inflation rate is higher than Syria’s, and the third highest in the world. There are shortages in basic necessities, like bread and medicines. Many shops are not even selling items because they don’t know what price to charge. People are rushing to stock up on whatever they can.

Read the entire post from Samar El Yassir, our country director in Lebanon.

June 30, 2020 | Things Keep Getting Worse in Lebanon

All of Lebanon is now on two hours of electricity per day. Randomly coming on and off. It used to be more scheduled. Morale is down in the whole country. There continue to be demonstrations in the streets. The army is more visible. The value of the Lebanese pound continues its downward slide. There are shortages in basics, like medicines. Many shops are not even selling items because they don’t know what price to charge. It’s chaotic. People are rushing to buy stuff and stock up in their homes.

June 25, 2020 | Building Isolation Centers in Lebanon

Our team in Bekaa, Lebanon is preparing and equipping two UNHCR isolation centers in Majdal Anjar and Qaraoun, with a capacity to receive 150 patients. Students from Anera’s job skills training programs, under their teachers’ guidance and supervision, are installing electrical appliances and plumbing. Anera will also provide food to patients, which our cooking and catering students will prepare. Our trusted local partners will handle site management of both centers. We are working rapidly, with the help of local municipalities to complete work by the end of June.

June 17, 2020 | Distributing Hygiene Kits in Rashidieh Palestinian Refugee Camp in Lebanon

With support from UNICEF, Anera distributed more than 1,300 hygiene kits with items like hand sanitizer and Clorox to Palestinian refugee families in the Rashidieh camp. We also provided short, informative, and socially distanced COVID-19 hygiene awareness sessions.

An Anera staffer on his way to deliver a hygiene kit to a family in Rashidieh Palestinian refugee camp.

June 10, 2020 | These Girls Love Their New Clothes from Anera!

June 8, 2020 | Providing 12,680 Food Parcels in Lebanon

With generous funding from UNHCR, Anera recently finished providing food parcels filled with with rice, bulgar wheat, beans, oil, and many other foods to 12,680 food insecure refugee families across Lebanon, the majority of whom reside in the Bekaa and Akkar areas. We also provided hygiene kits containing bleach, hand sanitizer, soap, and detergent to 10,000 families, which are particularly helpful in this era of COVID-19.

Contents of Anera’s UNHCR-funded food parcels in Lebanon.
A Syrian refugee picks up his family’s food parcel in Bekaa, Lebanon.

June 5, 2020 | Making Masks and Protective Overalls in Lebanon

As we have been reporting all along, our team in Lebanon is organizing the production of 300,000 face masks and 440 protective overalls for refugee camp residents and front line workers. Participants in our UNICEF-funded sewing vocational education classes are getting hands-on experience, earning some much-needed income, and helping their communities. Below is one of the latest mask-making pictures we received just today.

An Anera sewing student makes masks in Akkar, Lebanon.

May 29, 2020 | Sterilization Gates in Action in Jiyyeh, Lebanon

Anera, with funding from UNICEF, is installing gates that sterilize vehicles for the coronavirus at the entry to refugee camps and other vulnerable communities across Lebanon. This one is in Jiyyeh.

May 28, 2020 | Another Delivery of Donated Medicines in Gaza

These vital donated medicines arrived in our distribution center in Gaza on May 28, 2020. Our team there will be distributing the contents to health centers across Gaza in the upcoming days. Thank you, Americares!

May 26, 2020 | Eid Clothes Making in Lebanon

Our sewing students in Lebanon made some beautiful Eid clothes for children whose families don’t have the resources to buy them. This little film comes from our education field coordinator, Marwa Saadi, in Akkar.

May 23, 2020 | Palestinian Eid Cookies

Nadera, a talented cook in the West Bank, baked tasty Eid cookies for her Qalqilya community. With help from Anera, and funding from Islamic Relief USA, Nadera is growing her bakery business. How can she fail with these gorgeous creations?

May 22, 2020 | Update from Lebanon

The Mazboud Municipality in Mount Lebanon declared a state of emergency today. They have found six new positive cases of COVID-19, adding to 15 recorded yesterday. Anera was quick to respond by delivering 2,000 face masks to Mazboud today.

Handing out Anera face masks.

In Akkar today, Anera staff with their local partners distributed food parcels to 450 families, including to those in quarantine.

Picking up a food parcel in Akkar, Lebanon.

May 21, 2020 | New COVID-19 Cases in Gaza

News sources report 29 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Gaza among Palestinians returning in recent days from the Rafah and Erez crossings. They have been placed in isolation.

May 20, 2020 | Sewing Students Make PPE and Eid Clothes

Students participating in Anera’s vocational education classes in sewing are responding to needs for PPE across Lebanon. They have been making 300,000 face masks. More recently they began to make protective overalls. And, in celebration of Ramadan, students are making special clothes for Eid.

May 19, 2020 | Delivering Soap in Nahr El Bared, Lebanon

With our local partners today, we distributed soaps and other cleaning supplies to 6,000 families in Nahr El Bared Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.

Contents of the soap and cleaning supply packets we delivered in Nahr El Bared.
We delivered the packets of cleaning supplies to people’s doors in Nahr El Bared.

May 15, 2020 | Anera Makes Ramadan Meals With Soufra

In Lebanon’s Burj El Barajneh Palestinian camp, Anera has been working with our friends at Soufra Catering to make hot meals for hundreds of vulnerable families every day during Ramadan. We just got this picture from today. Anera’s meal preparations employ students in our UNICEF-funded cooking classes. It’s a great way to put their new knowledge to work, while making much-needed income and helping their community.

May 14, 2020 | Eid Clothes in Lebanon & Coding Students go Online in Gaza

Today, we launched a sewing course at the Social Skills and Rehabilitation Association in North Lebanon. Twenty students are working to produce Ramadan eid clothes for 2,500 Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian children.

Making eid clothes in North Lebanon.

ReBootKamp in Gaza

In Gaza, our 38 Anera+RBK (ReBootKamp) students completed the first stage of the coding and technology program online and are eager to move on the the next!

The program produces high quality software engineers in just 16 weeks using a curriculum developed in Silicon Valley and gives participants market-ready, adaptable coding skills and other essential “soft” skills demanded by the industry.

This is what one of our students had to say about the program:

“A person without ambition is like a bird without wings — fragile. I have always had a strong desire to learn new things which adds lots of meaning and value to my life and helps enrich my personality.

Anera+RBK is a wonderful opportunity. It’s not only about learning technological skills but rather a holistic approach that improve your words and actions.

Regardless of the difficulty we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we managed to learn and complete the program online. “My colleagues and I have had a lot of fun in the ‘bootstrap’ first stage of the program. Now we are waiting eagerly for the ‘immersive’ next stage.”

Ahmed Maher Ibai, a student in the program
Ahmed Maher Ibai, 30, studied math at Al-Azhar University and worked as a high school math teacher in Gaza. He’s now interested in becoming a software engineer.

May 11, 2020 | Anera Responds to New COVID-19 Cases in Majdal Anjar

Yesterday, May 10, two people tested positive to COVID-19 in Majdal Anjar, Lebanon. The individuals came into contact with many family, friends and acquaintances. Our Bekaa team went to the Majdal Anjar Municipality today to deliver 3,500 face masks and install two sterilization gates, one for people and the other for vehicles. We also delivered 500 masks to Tomooh, a charity for people with special needs. Students in our sewing vocational course at the Regeneration and Development Society, one of Anera’s partners in the Bekaa Valley, made the masks. Funding for this work comes from UNICEF.

Anera Bekaa Area Manager Mahmoud Abdullah

May 10, 2020 | Finished Distributing 3,552 Food Parcels in Gaza

The Anera Gaza team finished distributing 3,552 Ramadan food parcels. They did it in two and a half days! The parcels contain a generous amount of food, including fresh produce grown in family greenhouses that Anera has supported. Thank you, IRUSA, for your support!

A family in Gaza surrounded by the contents of the Ramadan food parcel they received from Anera.
A family in Gaza surrounded by the contents of the Ramadan food parcel they received from Anera.

May 7, 2020 | More Medicine Shipments in Gaza

Anera’s medical donations team in Gaza today finished distributing a shipment of medicines, dontated by IHP, to 17 hospitals and clinics throughout Gaza. They no sooner completed that work than they came back to Anera’s distribution center, at 9:30 in the evening, to receive yet another shipment: 10 pallets of medicines, donated by Direct Relief.

Anera staffers Ahmad Najjar (left) and Mohammad Abu Jahal work all kinds of hours processing medical donations in Gaza.

May 6, 2020 | Veggies and Vitamins

We are so excited that our food parcels in Gaza this year include fresh produce grown on Palestinian family farms that Anera has supported with greenhouses. The gorgeous eggplants and potatoes (pictured below) were bagged up yesterday and delivered to families today. This work is funded by Islamic Relief USA.

Anera has just delivered to Jerash Camp (also known as Gaza Camp) in Jordan a donation of high-dose vitamin D supplements. Healthy levels of this vitamin are crucial during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Severely low vitamin D levels are widespread among women in this Palestinian refugee camp, which can have an irreversible impact on the growth and development of children. Vitamin D can also boost the immune system during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Thank you to HPIC for this vital donation.

May 4, 2020 | Food Parcel Packing in Gaza and Sterilization Gate Building in Lebanon

Today, in Gaza, Anera employed workers to assemble a large number of food parcels. Trucks loaded with the parcels made deliveries to five different distribution centers all over Gaza. Thank you Islamic Relief USA for funding this vital work during Ramadan!

Boxes open and ready for Anera workers to fill with food in Gaza.
Trucks loaded with Ramadan food parcels are going to five distribution centers in Gaza.

In Lebanon, 15 youths who graduated from Anera’s vocational plumbing and electricity class are constructing a sterilization gate for the entrance to Wavel camp to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is part of a larger effort to build 20 gates for camps and communities throughout the Bekaa Valley. The gates are equipped to spray bleach solutions that sterilize vehicles and steam for individuals. With local partners, Anera will mobilize volunteers from inside the camp to operate the gate and spray the camp interior.

Testing the pipes that will spray disinfectants on vehicles at the entrances of Wavel and other Palestinian and Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon.

May 1, 2020 | Still Cooking Despite Protest in Lebanon

Despite protests in Tripoli against the banks and the overall economic situation in Lebanon, Anera’s cooking students insisted on going out and cooking hot meals for struggling families in their community.

April 30, 2020 | Assembling Ramadan Food Parcels in Gaza

Today, our team began assembling Ramadan food parcels for 3,000 families throughout Gaza. Anera is distributing the food to families of five or more who live marginalized areas, have no source of income, are women-headed, and who have a member with a disability. We will also include in our parcel deliveries fresh produce grown on local Gaza family farms that Anera has supported with greenhouses. This work is funded by IRUSA.

This is the content of Anera’s Ramadan food parcels in Gaza.

April 29, 2020 | Mask production in Mount Lebanon

Anera is working with our local partner, the Awareness and Consolation Association, to produce masks in Mount Lebanon Governorate. These photos and video are from the masks being made by graduates of Anera’s vocational sewing class in the town of Ketermaya.

Masks being sewn by Anera's sewing course graduates in Mount Lebanon.

April 28, 2020 | Creating an Isolation Center in Ein El Hilweh Palestinian Refugee Camp

Anera is creating a 70-person isolation facility for UNRWA in Ein El Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. To make it happen, we are training and putting to work 51 youths participating in our vocational education program, funded by UNICEF.

There are three groups of students working on different aspects of the center. Construction and carpentry students are building rooms and painting them. Electrical students are doing the wiring. Welding students are making iron beds (pictured). We hope to soon train sewing students to make the bedding and curtains for the facility.

The work will go on for about 20 days and each student receives a daily wage. Back in the fall, during the protests, Anera pivoted our programs in Lebanon to immediately put our newly trained vocational education graduates to work responding to humanitarian needs in their communities. When COVID-19 hit, we were ready to quickly ramp up our work to respond to new challenges.

A welding student from Anera’s vocational education program makes a bed frame for a new isolation center in Ein El Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon.

April 26, 2020 | New Shipment of Medicines in the West Bank

Anera received in our West Bank distribution center, 24 pallets filled with important medicines from IHP-UK. The shipment includes 42 different medicines, including those that treat chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and high cholesterol. The shipment also contains antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, vitamins, dermatology medicines, and others. At least 65,000 patients will benefit from this donation.

Anera staffer Mohammad Mahmoud Ma’tan brings the pallets of medicines into Anera’s distribution center in Beitin, West Bank.

April 25, 2020 | Delivering Hygiene Kits in Burj El Burajneh Palestinian Camp

Anera’s team in Lebanon, with funding from Unicef, distributed hygiene kits to 453 families in Burj El Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.

April 24, 2020 | Cooking Ramadan Meals and Delivering Food Across Lebanon

141 students from Anera’s UNICEF-funded vocational cooking classes have begun making hot meals for families in refugee camps and other vulnerable communities throughout Lebanon. Just today, they made meals for 1,100 families in Tripoli, Nahr El Bared, and Ein El Hilweh. In Burj El Burajneh, 25 youth delivered 100 meals and, in Saida, 25 youths delivered food to 350 families.

Pictures and films have been pouring in all day. Below are just a few.

April 23, 2020 | Delivering Face Masks To Wavel Palestinian Refugee Camp

April 22, 2020 | A Case at Wavel Palestinian Refugee Camp and Anera’s Response

Anera is beginning a multi-faceted response to COVID-19 in Wavel camp for Palestinian refugees in Baalbeck, Lebanon. A Palestinian refugee who fled the Syrian civil war, and who lives near the camp, tested positive for the virus today. She traveled in and out of the camp often, interacting with friends and family there. Anera is responding immediately in three different ways: delivering 3,000 face masks, erecting a sterilization gate and the entrance, and delivering food for Ramadan to 700 families.

Read the press release >>>

April 21, 2020 | Another Shipment in Gaza!

Our Anera Gaza team received six pallets containing 26 different medicines that treat high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, and many other conditions. Staff in our Gaza distribution center practiced #COVID-19 safety precautions by spraying down all of the pallets with a bleach solution and wearing masks and gloves while handling the shipment. Thank you Americares for this great donation!

Anera staffer Mostafa Al-Ghosain meets a truck with the Americares medicines outside of our distribution center in Gaza City.
Also today, the management at Hariri Hospital, Lebanon’s main facility for treating COVID-19 patients, held a little thank-you ceremony for Anera and Direct Relief for the supplies of PPE we just delivered to them.

April 20, 2020 | Cooking Class Begins in Lebanon

Today, an Anera cooking class started in Beddawi Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. Twenty-five Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians today are learning the important basics of good hygiene practices. Soon, they will be putting their new cooking skills to work making healthy, hot meals for vulnerable families during Ramadan.

April 16, 2020 | A Shipment Arrives in Gaza

Just after noon today, our Gaza team received a major shipment of 35 different donated medicines, including those that treat asthma, diabetes and hypertension. Our colleagues took all precautions against COVID-19, wearing masks and gloves and disinfecting the pallets by spraying them with a bleach solution. Thank you IHP for this generous donation.

Anera warehouse worker Mohammad Abu Jahal sprays the shipment of medicines in our Gaza City distribution center.

April 15, 2020 | Taking Apps for ASU English Classes!

In just the first day of accepting applications, we heard from 978 applicants for ASU’s English classes in Lebanon!

April 14, 2020 | Making Masks in Lebanon

The scarcity of masks worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic drives up prices and drains local markets, which means the most disadvantaged communities are the last to get these vital supplies.

In Lebanon, Anera is launching a program that meets some of the needs for masks. We are beginning to make 300,000 surgical masks for distribution to front line responders, both medical and non-medical. The fabric we’re using is SMS wrap paper, which is breathable, woven, blocks out bacteria, is anti-allergic, easily sterilized, and endures heat.

Aside from providing masks, the project provides much needed cash-for-work. This project will employ 100 youths who have gone through Anera’s vocational training programs: 50 young people will sew the masks and the other 50 will distribute them.

Making masks in Saida.

April 11, 2020 | Coding Boot Camp Goes Live Online in Gaza

Today, 50 amazing young women and men in Gaza started their journey to becoming professional coders. This is Anera’s second cohort of coding students, but this time it’s remote due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. We’re looking forward to following their progress over the next few months.

Students and teachers participating by Zoom n the second cohort of our coding boot camp.

April 8, 2020 | COVID-19 Shipments for Lebanon and Palestine

An Americares shipment filled with donated supplies related to COVID-19 arrived at the Beirut airport. Anera will be distributing over the next days the masks, sanitizers, thermometers and other crucial items to health facilities on the front lines in responding to the virus: Rafik Hariri Hospital and Lebanese Red Crescent.

A nurse at the Haifa Hospital in Burj El Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon wears some of the personal protective equipment Anera delivered to the hospital two weeks ago.

Anera has purchased COVID-19 personal protective equipment from vendors in China. These shipments, due to arrive in Palestine within the next two weeks, contains 32,000 N95 face masks, 26,000 disposable face masks, 3,600 coveralls, and 42,000 pairs of gloves.

April 6, 2020 | Share This Film!

April 5, 2020 | Disinfectants Delivered in Gaza

Today, the Anera Gaza team delivered to Shifa Hospital urgently needed disinfectants in this era of COVID-19: 852 liters of 70% alcohol with spray bottles and 700 liters of 10% iodine solution. We purchased these vital supplies on the local market with funding from the Ray of Light Foundation.

April 3, 2020 | In Case you Missed Them

We have two new posts from colleagues in Lebanon and Gaza describing what they are witnessing in their communities in this COVID-19 era.

Is Gaza Unlivable?” is from Rania Elhilou, our Palestine communications manager. “For a while, as the coronavirus spread around the globe, we hoped that being cut off from the world might just protect us. Maybe we’d actually be grateful for the isolation for once! But the inevitable has happened. As of this writing, we have 12 cases of COVID-19 reported. It’s frightening to imagine how quickly the disease could spread in Gaza as one of the most densely populated places on earth with eight refugee camps. ” Read the full post.

“An Update From North Lebanon” is from Ahlan Chalabi, our area manager for North Lebanon. “Lebanon has been in a crisis since October. Since coronavirus arrived here, things are even harder. The situation is really heavy. Day workers and the vulnerable are suffering the most. But difficult circumstances also bring out people doing good work. We’re seeing a lot of solidarity and resilience. ” Read the full post.

Also, please visit our new COVID-19 health education resources page. We will be adding new materials to it regularly. All materials are in Arabic.

As part of our work with UNHCR, Anera’s team in the Bekaa Valley got out today and visited Syrian camps to conduct awareness sessions with refugees and distribute soap.

April 2, 2020 | Update From Lebanon

With funding from UNICEF, Anera launched pilot online classes today in Lebanon, using Google Class as a platform. We distributed tablets to 110 students and laptops to the nine participating teachers. We also trained the teachers in how to use the equipment and online platform. For some students, Anera financed an upgrade to their home wifi, so they have reliable connectivity. We chose students who have attended earlier classes, so we know their level. Our vetted and trusted partners are working closely with us on this. 

Anera will also soon be working with Arizona State University, a leader in online education, on providing English classes in Lebanon. We piloted an English program with them in the past and it was very successful. ASU will provide the classes without charge!

April 1, 2020 | Update From Gaza

For the past couple days, Anera’s medical donation team has been distributing a large shipment of donated medicines from Direct Relief. The medicines are going to Shifa Hospital as well as to another 13 hospitals and clinics. It contains medicines that treat hypertension and diabetes as well as antibiotics.

Our team also delivered to Shifa Hospital two medicines that we procured locally using funds from the Ray of Light Foundation.

There are 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Gaza. All are under quarantine in the same facility.

March 31, 2020 | Update From Lebanon

A large shipment of COVID-19 related items, donated by Direct Relief gloves (see March 27 entry below for details), arrived in the Beirut port today. We will distribute the contents to the Lebanese Red Cross over the next couple days. 

Anera has set up a communications tree on WhatsApp that reaches more than 100,000 people, at last count. Through this network, we share graphics with messages about the coronavirus and how to stay healthy. We monitor this activity by occasionally choosing 50 people at random and surveying them about what is working and what they need. Recently, for instance, we have been hearing that people would like to know more about coping with stress while being stuck at home

The Anera team in the Bekaa Valley put together packages of essential materials for the prevention of the COVID-19 (containing alcohol, hand sanitizer, latex gloves and thermometers) and distributed them to the municipalities of Temnin El Foka, Temnin El Tahta, Mansoura, Qsranaba, Bednayel and Majdal Anjar. “Strengthening the role of municipalities in this crisis must be one of Anera’s main responsibilities as they are the local authorities concerned with the health of their residents,” says Lama Ghassan, Anera program manager.

Anera staff in the Bekaa unload supplies for local municipalities.

We are supporting our local partner, Soufra, in helping the elderly of Burj El Barajneh. The excellent chefs of Soufra are cooking 100 meals a day and 25 youths who participated in Anera’s cooking classes are volunteering to deliver the food to the homes of elderly residents, while keeping 1.5 meters away from each other. 

March 28, 2020 | Video Appeal

Anera’s very own Serene A. Dardari has a message from Lebanon about the COVID-19 pandemic, its effect on the thousands of Syrian and Palestinian refugees who live in crowded camps and what YOU can do to help.

March 27, 2020 | Expected Shipments

Anera’s medical donations team is working full out. They are in constant communication with each other, local partners in Lebanon and Palestine, and donors of medicines and health care supplies.

The team has 11 shipments in process for Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. Some are booked to ship and others are in the approval stage. In Palestine, critical medicines are arriving now that will help to alleviate an overstretched health care system just as COVID-19 cases grow. Anera is also putting together COVID-19 relief shipments for delivery there soon.

There are two air shipments arriving in Lebanon in the next couple days with these supplies related to COVID-19:

  • N95 particulate respirators: 600 units
  • N95 respirator face masks: 3,750 individual masks
  • Hand sanitizing wipes: 28,800 individual wipes
  • Adtemp II thermometers: 824 units
  • Adtemp V digital thermometers: 47 units
  • Surgical masks: 50,000 individual units
  • Shoe covers: 7,240 units
  • Gowns: 2,800 units
  • Exam gloves: 23,050 units
  • Operating caps: 2,000 units
  • Hand soap: 960 units
  • Disposable full face shields: 25 units
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Portable Oxygen Concentrators: 5 units

During this era of social distancing, Anera has changed our usual mode of distribution. Instead of delivering donated medicines and supplies to health facilities we are now asking our recipients to pick up their supplies outside Anera’s distribution centers. 

Ahmad Al Najjar, our in-kind program coordinator in Gaza, reported that he is happiest when he is at Anera’s distribution center in Gaza City responding directly to the crises in his community, even this latest one that calls for social distancing. 

Doing an inventory of medicines in Anera’s Gaza distribution center.

March 25, 2020 | New Cases in Gaza

Authorities have reported there are another seven cases of COVID-19 in Gaza.

March 23, 2020 | Update From Gaza

Gaza has suffered 14 years of blockade. The economic situation is dire, with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and the health care system is overstretched. There is a chronic shortage of essential medicines and health care supplies. Hospitals are not well prepared to respond to normal medical emergencies, let alone a pandemic like COVID-19.

Anera’s Gaza staff is working to procure locally and internationally the medical aid needed to hold the coronavirus at bay. We may have to purchase medicines and supplies on the local market, as donations of these items are in high demand globally. Funds for procurement, shipping and distribution will make a big difference in saving lives and slowing down the spread.

Anera is also continuing to supply safe water to hospitals, health clinics and households. We recently completed installation of a desalination system at one of Gaza’s largest hospitals as well as a child and family nutrition center. These modern, efficient systems turn Gaza’s contaminated groundwater into clean water for drinking and use in treating patients.

Read more.

March 19, 2020 | How Anera is Reponding

In order to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting the virus, Anera staff across all regions (except Gaza for now) are now working remotely. There are some situations when staff must visit work sites or interact with each other. In these limited cases, they practice social-distancing protocols and follow standard COVID-19 hygiene guidance.

Anera is continuing our work, while adjusting to the changing circumstances brought on by the coronavirus. Here are a few updates from our programs:

  • Transitioning our UNICEF-funded basic literacy and math, English language, and financial literacy courses to an online system. We are piloting the approach in several regions around Lebanon. All students will receive a tablet, since they have few resources of their own. Anera will test the effectiveness of communication, given poor internet connectivity in Lebanon, and the quality of learning and sharing. (Learn more about what we are doing in Lebanon.)
  • Shipping supplies to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. One shipment of N95 respirator face masks, sanitizing items and portable oxygen devices will go to the Lebanese Red Cross to help them safely transfer patients with COVID-19 to hospitals. The other will go to Rafik Hariri Government Hospital, which is the main facility treating coronavirus patients. We also will procure locally more items to help Lebanon’s overstretched health care system prepare for COVID-19.
  • Sending medicines and supplies to Palestine. Seven shipping containers are either on their way or about to ship. Three are heading to Gaza and four to the West Bank. They are full of medicines that treat conditions like diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease. They also contain vitamins and health care supplies such as syringes and surgical gloves. 
  • Delivering hygiene supplies to communities. We are working on three containers full of hygiene and baby care kits, school supplies, and blankets for delivery in disadvantaged communities across Lebanon. We also will procure locally hygiene and disinfection supplies to deliver to municipalities and individuals.
  • Spreading messages for staying healthy. In Lebanon, Anera will be sharing daily videos and simple written instructions, through social channels and WhatsApp, that promote helpful guidance on topics like properly sanitizing items, hand washing, social distancing and exercising at home. In Gaza, we are airing radio spots on local stations promoting handwashing and other hygiene advice.

Read more.



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