Last November, with the help of ELCA members like you, advocates for the Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH), operated by The Lutheran World Federation in East Jerusalem, applauded the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for releasing more than $13 million in helping relieve the cash flow crisis facing the hospital. AVH is again facing a cash flow crisis as a result of the inability of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay the fees for the patients it referred to AVH during the period of June through December 2014.
The funding from USAID, along with a similar contribution from the European Union, covered debt owed to the Hospital by the Palestinian Authority for patients referred by the PA to the AVH for medical care provided during the year 2013 through mid-May 2014.
Even though the PA made an additional payment of the equivalent of approximately $263,000 in December 2014, unfortunately, the uncovered costs of care for the rest of 2014 (about $16.6 million) as well as 2015 have not been met because the PA’s budgetary shortfalls persist. Meanwhile, the costs for patients referred to the AVH continue to mount at the rate of between $2 and $2.5 million per month.
The situation has taken on considerable urgency again because the PA’s already precarious financial situation has been exacerbated by the Israeli government’s recent decision to freeze $127 million in tax revenues as well as by the possibility of new U.S. Congressional restrictions on American assistance to the Palestinian Authority due to the PA’s plan to join the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Please ask the US Congress to issue a letter of authorization for the immediate transfer of unspent 2014 funds and 2015 allocations to USAID in order to meet an urgent humanitarian need of the Palestinian people by covering at least 50% of the PA debt to Augusta Victoria Hospital and the other East Jerusalem hospitals.
We have an online form to make it easy to contact your representative, including a sample letter.
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