WASHINGTON (Aug. 25)
The United States Agency for International Development (AID) last Saturday airlifted 85,000 pounds of emergency medical supplies from JFK Airport in New York to aid the sick and wounded in Lebanon, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed today.
AID administrator Peter McPherson said the supplies, valued at almost $1 million, were collected by Operation California, an American private voluntary agency, based in Beverly Hills
The supplies were airlifted from JFK Airport to Cyprus from which they were transported to Lebanon by ship. In Lebanon, the supplies will be distributed to medical centers through the Lebanese Red Cross, United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the Middle East Council of Churches.
McPherson, President Reagan’s personal representative for all U.S. government assistance to Lebanon, said AID provided the $95,000 to finance the airlift at the request of the Council of Churches. He noted that last month, AID provided $660,000 for medical supplies airlifted from the United States to the medical center of the American University at Beirut.
McPherson completed a fact-finding tour of Lebanon in July. After his return, he sent a three-member AID team to Lebanon to conduct a three-week survey of rehabilitation needs in southern Lebanon. The team recently returned to Washington and its recommendations are under review.
To date, the United States government has committed or requested $65 million for the relief and reconstruction effort in Lebanon. AID’s office of United States Foreign Disaster Assistance is coordinating all U.S. government humanitarian assistance to Lebanon.