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AFSC work in the Middle East began in 1949. In the aftermath of World War II AFSC gained experience resettling refugees and displaced persons, and was asked by the United Nations to organize relief efforts for Palestinian Arab refugees in the Gaza Strip. This continued until the United Nations Relief Works Agency began operations on May 1, 1950. From its initial engagement with refugees in Gaza, AFSC has been committed to peace-building as well as relief efforts.
Most recently AFSC has responded to US military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. AFSC has also worked to promote the continuation of dialogue between the US and Iran.
AFSC’s approach is twofold: it works to empower the people directly affected by the conflict. Secondly, AFSC works through its representatives in the Middle East region and in the USA to advocate for policy change based on the Quaker testimonies to peace and equality.