Thursday, May 24, 2007

Baddaw Camp Report

On Thursday members of the campaign drove to the north carrying supplies to Baddawi camp. The situation there is dire. Estimates range from 12,000 to 18,000 internally displaced Palestinians from Nahr el Bared relocated to Baddawi camp, resulting in a severe shortage of food and medical supplies.

Around 25% of the displaced from Nahr el Bared are now staying in schools, while the other 75% are cramped in people's homes, sometimes 30 people to one house. The overcrowding is unbearable. International NGOs working in direct relief are distributing 80% of the supplies to the minority in the schools, while the other 75% are only receiving 20% of the undersupplied aid.

There are currently three different groupings working on relief in the north:

  1. INGOs: Red Cross, Save the Children, Norwegian People's Aid, UNRWA, etc.
  2. Palestinian political parties
  3. A grouping of 23 local civil society organizations
Coordination between the three groups is sorely lacking, and the distribution of supplies is haphazard and beaurocratic.

The Nahr el Bared Relief campaign members formed a coordinating team with the civil society organizations since their networks were most established and spread on the ground, and distributed the $1,000 worth of food bought mostly in and around the camp to stimulate local economy and $2,000 worth of medical supplies through the Ghassan Kanafani Foundation clinic. While the amount was meager, the demand remained very high and people are still in need of much more aid than is currently being given out.

The campaign is still collecting donations and sending teams up to the Baddawi camp to assist the people there.

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