Middle East Council in America
MECC: Middle East Artifact
Backgammon board. Lebanon. Private Collection.

The Near East Foundation

The oldest nonsectarian international development organization and the second American humanitarian organization to be charted by an act of Congress was: The Near East Foundation (NEF) formerly the American committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief (ACASR), and later the Near East Relief, is a Syracuse, New York-base American international social an economic development organization founded in 1915.

Near East Relief organized the world’s first large-scale modern humanitarian project in response to the Armenian Genocide, which was the first great project of the United States, in the beginning of the 20th century thanks to Ambassador Morgenthau, Cleveland H. Dodge, and missionary and educator James L. Barton formed the committee. Dodge personally financed the Committee’s operating expenses. The campaign and captivating stories from the field inspired Americans from all economic backgrounds to become citizen philanthropists. The organization briefly used the name American Committee for Relief in the Near East.

Today NEF is an operational NGO with projects in nine countries: Armenia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Senegal and Sudan. Every member of the NEF field staff is from the region in which they work.

www.neareast.org




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