American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA)


Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2021):

Revenue: $112,473,420
Expenses: $107,147,710
Assets: $29,367,034




Sean Carroll

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American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that provides relief to refugees and other disadvantaged populations in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and Jordan. The group acts as a grantmaker to many Middle Eastern aid groups and construction companies, mainly in the Palestinian territories.


American Near East Refugee Aid was founded in 1968 in response to the fallout of the 1967 Six Day War which displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the Palestinian territories. It was started by a number of American activists, including Jim Sams and his wife Betty, who conceived of the group, and John Davis who worked as ANERA’s first president. 1 2

It provided grants to educational and job training institutes during the first few years of its existence, such as the Arab Women’s Unions and Red Crescent Societies. During the 1970s, ANERA donated equipment to local educational groups such as the Al-Bir Society in Jericho. It continued its education funding and increased its spending on poverty, agriculture, hospitals, and related aid programs throughout the following decades. 3


American Near East Refugee Aid funds and facilities health care facilities like clinics and hospitals, educational efforts, agricultural projects, water and sanitation infrastructure, and food care packages to displaced peoples in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Jordan, and related areas. It claims to assist refugees who have relocated to Lebanon, as well as people in Gaza and neighboring cities. 4

In the early 2000s, ANERA started a number of projects. One such project was the MARAM Program launched with funding from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a healthcare initiative that provided training, public health awareness, and equipment to hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza. Another was its Community Services Program, operating in Gaza and the Jordan valley with a $5.1 million budget from USAID. 5

In 2002 it provided food and goods to people in Jenin, Bethlehem, Hebron, Gaza, and other Palestinian communities during the Second Intifada, and in 2007 it began providing relief to Iraqi refugees as well as aid to refugee centers in Lebanon. 6

In 2009, ANERA self-reports to have distributed $4 million in medicine and healthcare munitions to hospitals in Gaza as well $1.4 million in food to citizens in Rafah, Khan Younis, and Gaza City. 7

From 2013 to 2018, ANERA worked on the Palestinian Community Infrastructure Development Program (PCID), a water and sanitation facility construction project made possible by USAID funds. 8


American Near East Refugee Aid’s donors and partners include Americares, Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE), the Catalyst Foundation for Universal Education, Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), Direct Relief, Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC), Islamic Relief USA, Muslim Aid USA (MAUSA), Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), Penny Appeal USA, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and World Central Kitchen. 9

In 2019, ANERA reported a revenue of $100,306,038 and expenses of $98,190,337, with $16,581,679 left over in assets. 10 It paid multiple independent contractors for services that year, including Brothers Company for Contracting in the Palestinian city of Nablus ($1,057,894), Sari Brothers Contracting and Construction in Jerusalem ($427,810), and Arab Brothers Construction and Infrastructure in Sanjar-Doura ($340,369). 11


As of 2023, the president and CEO of American Near East Refugee Aid was Sean Carroll, a former employee of Creative Associates International, USAID, the Club of Madrid, the UN World Food Programme, and the National Democratic Institute (NDI). 12

The country director for Lebanon was Samar El-Yassir, a former representative of Diakonia, a faith-based humanitarian Swedish organization, and an affiliate of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and IMPACT. 13

The country director for the Palestinian territories was Sandra Rasheed, a former employee of MA’AN Development Center, Carter Center, and Save the Children who has worked with USAID, the European Union (EU), and other donors. 14


  1. “About ANERA.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
  2. “History.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
  3. “History.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
  4. “What We Do – Emergency.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
  5. “Who We Are – History.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
  6. “Who We Are – History.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
  7. “Who We Are – History.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
  8. “Who We Are – History.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
  9. “About ANERA – Who We Are.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
  10. Return from Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). ANERA. Accessed March 25, 2023. Part I, lines 12, 18, 22.
  11. Return from Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). ANERA. Part VII, Section B. – Independent Contractors.
  12. “Staff Leadership.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
  13. “Staff Leadership.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
  14. “Staff Leadership.” Accessed March 25, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: May - April
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1968

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 May Form 990 $112,473,420 $107,147,710 $29,367,034 $7,170,332 N $112,358,499 $0 $99,317 $851,227
    2020 May Form 990 $100,306,038 $98,190,337 $22,978,354 $6,396,675 N $100,143,972 $0 $190,676 $828,349 PDF
    2019 May Form 990 $56,058,501 $52,912,666 $20,546,066 $6,074,538 Y $55,903,279 $0 $258,487 $866,962 PDF
    2018 May Form 990 $69,704,198 $68,483,582 $16,859,972 $5,525,769 Y $69,308,699 $0 $109,677 $951,249
    2017 May Form 990 $67,639,405 $70,587,436 $15,449,891 $5,326,556 N $67,167,402 $0 $19,489 $843,439
    2016 May Form 990 $57,807,072 $55,702,188 $19,319,862 $6,234,107 N $57,327,621 $0 $2,263 $744,989 PDF
    2015 May Form 990 $58,083,665 $53,518,607 $16,500,721 $5,511,101 N $57,681,494 $0 $980 $587,893 PDF
    2014 May Form 990 $58,181,625 $59,591,797 $9,406,764 $2,969,772 N $57,906,863 $0 $271 $567,618 PDF
    2013 May Form 990 $67,757,838 $65,535,073 $10,386,413 $2,527,233 N $67,521,047 $0 $510 $422,661 PDF
    2012 May Form 990 $39,349,807 $40,861,845 $7,880,722 $2,235,191 N $38,938,461 $0 $1,062 $555,953 PDF
    2011 May Form 990 $71,281,239 $72,891,668 $9,780,895 $2,044,181 N $70,970,012 $0 $18,685 $703,781 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)