Current Health Challenges
Ajialouna is appealing to generous donors who are able to donate funds to cover shipment costs of a full container load of donated medical supplies and equipment (valued at over $400,000) to be distributed to hospitals in Lebanon. The existing health system is under immense pressure. The worsening economic and financial situation which began in 2019, compounded with the outbreak of COVID-19, the August 4th Beirut port explosion, and the Central Bank of Lebanon’s plan to remove subsidies on medicines and other products due to shortages in foreign currency reserves, have significantly impacted the livelihoods of all families in Lebanon.
- As of October 29, 2020 COVID-19 cases in Lebanon reached 77,778 since March 2020, resulting in 610 deaths. Since July, the rate of COVID-19 cases continues to drastically increase. Since September 24, Lebanon continues to witness 1,000+ daily COVID-19 cases with a rate of 1,933 cases reached on October 29th.
- Since late 2019, financial institutions implemented informal capital controls preventing depositors from accessing their USD deposits. Cash withdrawal limits are now in the process of being applied on deposits in Lebanese Pounds as well.
- There are steep shortages in medicine and increased demand for payment in US Dollars or Lebanese Pounds at the black-market exchange rate. Most vulnerable families already did not have adequate access to funds and healthcare. There is a dire need to secure medical supplies/equipment to ensure those in need have access to quality healthcare.
- Ajialouna's largest constraint at this time is access to funds following the recent Central Bank of Lebanon requirements for importers of medical equipment and supplies to provide Lebanese pounds in cash to obtain the US Dollars needed to import such goods rather than through the use of credit. About 85% of the US Dollars needed by Lebanon’s medicine importers are offered by the Central Bank at the exchange rate of 1,515 Lebanese pounds per US Dollar while they purchase the remaining 15% in the black market at 7,500 Lebanese pounds per US Dollar.
- In turn, medical importers and hospitals are requiring cash payments to purchase medicine and for medical treatments. Organizations, businesses, and individuals are unable to meet these cash payments due to restrictions on cash withdrawal from banks. Unfortunately, this is jeopardizing access to healthcare and medical treatments.
Project C.U.R.E. CEO Dr. Doug Jackson shares, “I remember my time at many of the hospitals in and around Beirut, meeting doctors and nurses and visiting patients. To see what has happened is absolutely heartbreaking. And this on top of COVID-19, a very difficult economic situation, refugees, and regional conflict. These friends really need our help right now. Project C.U.R.E. will do all we can to bring health and hope to Lebanon.”
About Project C.U.R.E.
Project C.U.R.E. was founded in 1987 to empower doctors and nurses in the developing world with the tools needed to treat disease, deliver vaccines, perform life-changing surgeries and ensure safe childbirth. Today, Project C.U.R.E. is the world’s largest distributor of medical donations to resource-limited communities across the globe, touching the lives of patients, families and children in 130 countries.
About Ajialouna Organization
Ajialouna is a women-led non-profit organization engaged in charitable, cultural, social, healthcare, and educational programs. Founded in Beirut in March 1995, Ajialouna’s mandate is to serve the local Lebanese community as a whole. For over 25 years, Ajialouna has been committed to supporting less-privileged individuals, believing that all people deserve to have equal access to good health, social security, and educational opportunities; improve their standard of living and increase their awareness to strive towards education, health, and ﬁnancial stability. Ajialouna's Board of Directors consists of seven women and an administrative body of over 92 female volunteers. These women have expertise in various fields including engineering, medicine, pharmacy, education, administration, finance, and others, along with 28 employees, mostly female breadwinners of their households. Based on our belief in the need to build a better tomorrow for our children, with the desire to cover a larger area in Lebanon, and to implement the organizational vision and goals, Ajialouna has introduced new centers and programs relying on the perseverance and exceptional spirit of solidarity and teamwork demonstrated by its members, staff, and female volunteers. The purpose is to promote and improve the status of many underprivileged for a better status of education and productivity. Since its establishment, Ajialouna has grown to focus its efforts on sustainable programs in the areas of Health, Health Awareness, Social, Women Empowerment, Educational, and Fundraising. These programs are funded by grants provided by generous individuals, companies, sponsors, as well as fundraising activities. Donate now to Ajialouna’s Medical Relief Campaign! #WeLiveToGive.