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Aid sent to victims in Middle East

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The Church has responded to a United Nations appeal for humanitarian aid to help civilians caught in the conflict between Israeli and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon and Israel.

U.N. officials asked for international assistance to meet the needs for three months of an estimated 800,000 people who have been displaced, wounded or otherwise affected by the fighting.

A Church donation of medical supplies, powdered milk, baby formula, hand soap and hygiene kits has been flown to the affected region by Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW). The planeload of aid left Salt Lake City on Aug. 1. Representatives of IRW and the Hariri Foundation, a Lebanese development and education organization, is overseeing distribution.

The Church has met an urgent request for $50,000 from Magen David Admon, the Israeli affiliate of the International Red Cross. The donation will be used in Haifa to respond to increased demand on Magen David Admon's blood services program, ambulance response and support of individual family needs.

President Gordon B. Hinckley has emphasized that the Church's humanitarian assistance is provided to those in need wherever they may be without regard to religious affiliation, race, ethnicity or political persuasion.

Of the Church's worldwide efforts to relieve suffering, President Hinckley has said: "We have blessed the lives of many people who are not of our faith but who also are children of our Father. We will continue to do so for as long as we have the means."