The Near East Christian Council Committee for Refugee Work (NECCCRW) was officially organized in 1951 following the holding of the First Beirut Conference, but even before that time, at the very begining of the tragedy, Christian Leaders in the area had pooled their resources and, in a co-operative, ecumenical approach ministered to the Palestinian refugees in the spirit of brotherhood. The work of NECCCRW is carried on in two Geographic areas, one based in Amman and the other in Jerusalem representing the Internaitonal Christian Committee (ICC) which was carrying on programs of relief before 1951 and have since retained its name within the framework of NECCCRW.
The First Beirut conference was called to "show that Christians are concerned about the plight of Palestinians; to call Churches in all countries to take this need far more seriously than they have hitherto; and to discover how the Churches can help and co-operate in this task".
The International Christian Committee in Jerusalem is a no-profit private proganization supported by the World Council of Churches and its constituent national councils, as well as religious organizations of various nationalities, provides a way for its donors throughout the world, through their voluntary contributions, to express their friendship for the people of the Near East by extending direct assistance, in the form of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction eqipment and material.
During the years the International Christian Committee sought to adjust its program to meet changing conditions. A review of the program of the International Christian Committee shows that a fair balance between relief and rehabilitation has been maintained, recognition of the fact that the original purpose for which the organization was formed is still valid as is also the need, with the passage of time, for projects which will help people help themselves.
Work is directed from two locations in Tulkarem and Jerusalem. Although in most cases the projects are in areas outside these towns. In addition to being host to the largest number of refugees in any area.
Palestinian refugees help themselves
Contrary to a widespread impression in the West, the Palestinian refugees are not sitting idly in their homes camps doing nothing and living well from the munificence of the United Nations. This is a false impression whcih can be corrected by any observer who takes the trouble to visit the host countries. He will find that only one-third of the refugees live in camps-the rest have been given room by relatives or had the means of renting their own modest rooms. He will find large numbers of them busily engaged in the various professions as teachers, lawyers, doctors and as artisans and unskilled workers.