Augusta Victoria Hospital Update

 

Ask your Members of Congress to restore funding for Augusta Victoria Hospital and the other East Jerusalem hospitals

Peace Not Walls 2

Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) and the other members of the East Jerusalem Hospitals Network (EJHN) continue to need our help to be able to continue their life-saving health care ministries in the Holy Land. AVH is owned and operated by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and several other member churches of the LWF. 

AVH, which provides high-quality health services to the five million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza, has been facing a chronic financial crisis as a result of the extensive delays in payments by the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the patients it has referred to AVH.

The situation is exacerbated by U.S. cuts in funding to the Palestinians for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. Together, European Union and U.S. funding has been covering about half of the costs of patients referred to the EJHN by the PA. AVH provides a wide range of health care services, but its specialties include radiation therapy for cancer patients and pediatric kidney dialysis. More extensive background information is available here.  

When the financial crisis reaches an acute stage, AVH is compelled to curtail its services by halting intake of patients requiring expensive chemotherapy medications or even halting the intake of all new patients.

An October 30, 2019, agreement between the LWF and Palestinian Authority (PA) addressed the acute crisis. The PA agreed to inject the minimum amount of funds needed to resume AVH operations at near-normal levels.  The agreement also included provisions intended to reduce the accumulated PA debt to AVH.

In order to prevent the PA debt from once again reaching an acute stage where treatment of patients could be interrupted, it is vital that the annual contribution from the European Union continues at the current level. It is also critical that the annual contribution from the United States is restored to the level of $25 million for the East Jerusalem hospitals.

It is therefore critical that:

  1. Members of Congress, especially U.S. senators, be asked to urge the Trump Administration to restore funding for AVH and the other hospitals in the EJHN on a humanitarian basis in order to save lives, and 
  2. You contact the White House directly (https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ or 202-456-1111) to urge that humanitarian aid to the West Bank and Gaza, especially assistance for the East Jerusalem hospitals, be restored immediately and unconditionally to ensure ongoing care for cancer patients and others needing life-saving medical treatment.   

Recipients

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

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