Ask your U.S. senators and representative to encourage the U.S. government to support AVH by helping to cover its cancer treatment costs for Palestinian patients from the West Bank and. Invite your U.S. Senators and Representative to visit the hospital.
Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) is operated by the Lutheran World Federation in Jerusalem. It started in partnership with the United Nations in 1948 as a major medical facility in Jerusalem to care for Palestinian refugees. Today, most of the patients served by the hospital need specialized, lifesaving care.AVH is the first and only hospital to provide radiation therapy for cancer patients in the Palestinian territories and the only medical facility in the West Bank offering pediatric kidney dialysis. On a daily basis, these and other specialty services touch countless lives, both young and old, from communities across the Palestinian territories.AVH faces ongoing cash flow problems as a result of the inability of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay on a regular basis the fees for cancer patients it refers to the hospital.AVH has received vital support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in recent years (nearly $57.42 million in cancer-related machines, lab equipment and training) that has raised the level of cancer treatment available through AVH for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
AVH finished 2021 with outstanding bank loans of $940,000 and suppliers owed $15.26 million, against $160,000 in cash on hand and $72.4 million owed the hospital by the PA. In October 2021, AVH received (for the first time since 2017) U.S. funding via the Palestinian Authority in the amount of $8.3 million, equivalent to 12% of the PA’s total debt.
The message to the ELCA from congressional staffers in previous years was clear: ELCA members had been heard on this issue, and their voices had made a difference!At the same time, costs for patients referred to AVH continue to mount at the rate of $4.5 million per month. Another payment from the USAID is needed in 2022. Therefore, Congress must ensure that the U.S. government releases a large payment for the East Jerusalem hospitals through USAID as soon as possible. This funding is crucial to avoid any interruption of treatment for West Bank or Gaza cancer patients or other patients served by AVH or other East Jerusalem hospitals.Please ask your U.S. senators and representative to support a transfer at least $120 million to USAID to meet urgent humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people in 2022. These allocations will cover the PA’s debt to AVH and the other East Jerusalem hospitals.Also, encourage your Members of Congress to visit AVH and see first-hand the important work being done and the hospital’s partnership with the U.S. government through USAID. To schedule a visit to the hospital, contact LWF Representative Sieglinde Weinbrenner at email@example.com,+972-2-628-2289 (office) or +972-53-525-5843 (cell).
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