"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

July 14, 2006

I received this plea from Mercy Corps today:

Dear Friend, I've just returned from the Middle East, where rising hostilities between Israel, the Palestinians and Lebanon threaten to spark a wider regional conflict. The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza is already desperate, and it's possible that the escalating violence could create new crises in Lebanon and elsewhere across the region. Mercy Corps has been working in the Middle East since the early 1980s. Over the last several months, we have been helping vulnerable families in the Gaza Strip with food and other essentials. Having just met with our staff in the region, I can tell you the situation in Gaza is awful: power is out, clean water is scarce, medical supplies are dwindling and people are desperate. I also met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders participating in a Mercy Corps-sponsored project to improve the process for peace negotiations. Despite the many challenges, they remain hopeful that their efforts will ultimately bear fruit. Veteran Mercy Corps aid workers are posted throughout the Middle East, continuing vital relief and development programs and monitoring the situation as it unfolds. We need your support to continue this aid — and to be ready to respond if humanitarian needs escalate. Please give to our Middle East Crisis Fund, and visit our Web site for the latest on this growing crisis.

Sincerely, Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO

Mercy Corps * 3015 SW 1st Ave., Dept. W * Portland, OR 97201


Please consider contributing to this cause. Mercy Corps, as you know if you are a regular reader of this blog, is considered one of the best humanitarian aid organizations in the world. Over 93% of donations go to direct aid and fundraising, while the balance is used for administrative costs. Compare that to organizations such as the Red Cross or United Way, whose overhead costs are well into the 30-40% range.

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