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Ayat Abuznade

Ayat Abuznade’s Response to the Lebanon Humanitarian Crisis

The humanitarian crisis in Lebanon continues to grow. Inflation, Covid-19, and many other factors have resulted in many Lebanese lacking basic necessities such as food, health care, and water.

Thankfully, the Lebanese are not alone; humanitarian organizations such as Ayat Abuznade’s organization—Team Humanity USA—are on the ground providing aid to those in need.

Team Humanity USA is a relatively new humanitarian organization that was created in response to the desperate need that Ayat saw throughout her humanitarian journeys.

It all began in 2014 when Ayat volunteered at a refugee camp in Jordan called the Zaatari Refugee Camp. As Syrian refugees fled their war-torn country, many flooded into the Zaatari Refugee Camp.

According to Ayat, it was there that “she connected with many families and witnessed the devastating impact the war had on 80,000 of the world’s most vulnerable people.” However, there was one individual in particular who caught Ayat’s attention.

It was an 8-year-old boy who had a “warm gentle sparkle in his eyes.” The boy’s name was Yaseen. Unfortunately, Yaseen had experienced something that many boys his age would never experience.

When Yaseen and his family were fleeing for safety, a missile hit near buy. Some of the shrapnel from the missile hit Yaseen’s arm. As a result, part of Yaseen’s arm was amputated.

As would be expected, when Ayat returned to her Chicago home, she was not the same person. She explains that “she would dedicate and spend the rest of her life making a difference in the lives of children and families fleeing conflict and living in poverty all over the world.”

She continued to volunteer at several camps around the world. In 2015 she found herself in Lesvos, Greece serving the massive waves of refugees there.

Sadly, the many small humanitarian organizations that were on the ground were quickly overwhelmed by the seemingly unending waves of refugees. There were just not enough resources and manpower to provide humanitarian aid to everyone.

In 2018, she returned to the very same camp after hearing that it became “the worst refugee camp on earth.” Knowing that there will always be need for more help, she started Team Humanity USA.

Team Humanity USA is helping those across the world including those in Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.

As for Lebanon, according to UN News: “86,000 migrants and 200,000 Palestine refugees in Lebanon currently require emergency aid; in addition to 1.5 million Syrian refugees that are unable to afford or even access health, food, electricity, water, education and waste-water management, not to mention lifesaving protection services.”

The economic downturn in Lebanon was only exasperated by the lockdowns due to Covid-19 and the rise of inflation. As Lebanon’s economy continues to shrink, many are left without jobs. As a result, lack of food, water, and other basic necessities has become a big issue.

Ayat and her team are on the ground in Lebanon trying to address these issues by providing life-saving care as well as necessary food to vulnerable communities in Lebanon.

Ayat’s inspiring journey and commitment to helping those in need continue to grow as Team Humanity USA aids vulnerable communities all around the world.