The Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees “DSPR” of the Middle East Council of Churches “MECC” started in 1948 as an ad-hoc ecumenical group with international and local spirited clergy, and secular people to tend to the trauma of over 726,000 Palestinian refugees from the first Arab-Israeli war.
DSPR eventually evolved into five Area Committees, each situated in Jerusalem and West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Galilee and the Gaza Strip. They are coordinated through a Central Office that is located in East Jerusalem since 1997. DSPR was initially registered in Cyprus in 1970, where members met regularly from all over the region, and became part of the MECC which was established in 1974.