The tragic explosion at the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, not only took precious lives and destroyed buildings and schools—it crushed the city’s medical infrastructure. News reports described chaotic hospital scenes where capacity was already overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. The World Health Organization found that more than half of Beirut’s health centers were too damaged to function.
It’s only the latest disaster for an area battling a non-functioning government, devaluation of currency by 95%, and a pandemic. From 2019 to 2020, the UN reports that extreme poverty has risen from 8% to 23% of Lebanon’s population. Based on our decades of experience providing medical relief, we feel compelled to offer assistance to those serving the most vulnerable in Lebanon.
Health Care & Schools in Crisis
At the urging of the Daughters of Charity and the Franciscan Sisters of the Cross, the Catholic Medical Foundation (CMF) has committed to supporting their hospitals and schools affected by the blast.
Daughters of Charity
In 1847, Sister Gelas and two companions arrived in Lebanon with a commitment to serve the sick and poor. The Daughters of Charity operate many ministries in Lebanon that span multiple sectors in social services, education and health care. The Daughters of Charity operate schools, hospitals (including Sacred Heart Hospital) and clinics as well as service agencies that reach some of the most poor and disadvantaged populations, such as their work with Syrian refugees.
“The Lebanese in general are very ‘life-loving’ people, and their situation now can be summed up in the word ‘suffering.’”— Sister Ann Sauvé, Daughter of Charity
Franciscan Sisters of the Cross
Founded in 1930, the Franciscan Sisters of the Cross – Lebanon is a non-profit and non-governmental Congregation with a sacred mission to care for the needy and educate youth. Spread over 19 institutions, including the Psychiatric Hospital of the Cross, Saint Joseph Hospital and Christ the King, they serve the mentally and physically handicapped, orphans, and the elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s and chronic diseases.
“The long term survival of our mission is threatened in an unprecedented manner due to the economic crisis in our beloved country Lebanon.”— Sister Mary Youssef, Franciscan Sisters of the Cross
How We’re Helping
Because the government doesn’t provide some of their most basic needs, the Catholic Medical Foundation will deliver essential supplies to hospital systems and schools run by the Daughters of Charity and Franciscan Sisters of the Cross.
With help from our partners, donors and friends in the Lebanese community, we’re fundraising so that CMF can assemble a shipment containing:
OUR HANDS-ON APPROACH
Our team of volunteers will travel to Beirut to meet the shipment in-person. This allows us to ensure that everything arrives safely before we deliver supplies directly to recipients.