June 6, 2023
By Jacqueline Tucci
PWRDF is providing an emergency grant to support the overburdened Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza as it responds to increasing demand brought on by escalating violence in the region. The Diocese of Jerusalem launched an emergency appeal for support in May as attacks on Gaza intensified and violence erupted, resulting in the deaths of more than 20 people and injuring almost 150 more. PWRDF is sending $25,000 to support the hospital – which is managed by the Diocese of Jerusalem – to obtain fuel for generators, emergency medicine and medical supplies.
Archbishop Hosam Naoum appealed to international partners including PWRDF, and all concerned individuals, to support Al-Ahli Arab Hospital’s ministry during the ongoing crisis and in its aftermath. The Diocese also denounced the indiscriminate use of force which has caused this ongoing tragedy, called for an immediate ceasefire and requested prayers for peace in the region.
The Al-Ahli Arab Hospital treats Gaza’s most vulnerable population despite adverse conditions, seeing an average of 4,000 patients every month. Due to the ongoing violence, many government hospitals have closed or drastically reduced their hours of operation. Al-Ahli’s staff have stepped up to fill the gap. They have been working tirelessly despite great personal risk, tending to the wounded, and accepting urgent surgical cases from other overburdened hospitals. This flood of patients has put a strain on their already limited resources, leading to shortages of medicine, medical supplies and fuel for their generators that have been forced to run for extended hours due to electrical blackouts.
“The staff of Al-Ahli work incredibly hard and long hours to care for those who come to the hospital for medical care,” says Will Postma, PWRDF Executive Director who visited the hospital in November 2019. “I was so grateful for the professionalism and compassion of Dr. Suheila and her staff towards all who came to Ah-Ahli for help. In addition to treating an increasing number of shrapnel wounds or kidney infections because of unclean water, Al-Ahli was responding to so much trauma of youth impacted by conflict and isolation.”
In response to the health care crisis in Gaza, Al-Ahli has expanded its services to reach areas most in need. The hospital operates mobile clinics which provide free medical care to those without access, including vulnerable children and the elderly. Mobile clinics also provide breast screening and nutritious food assistance to hospital visitors.
The PWRDF grant will support the hospital in implementing an emergency response plan which will allow the team to receive more trauma cases and fund a new emergency ward with 24 beds. Since the beginning of the crisis, staff have maintained a round-the-clock presence at the hospital, receiving the wounded and providing them with critical medical care.
PWRDF has supported the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital several times over many years through the ACT Alliance and other emergency initiatives. It is the oldest hospital in Gaza City, built in 1882, and provides services to all patients regardless of religion, gender, social class or political affiliation.
How you can help
Please keep the Al-Ahli Hospital and its staff in your prayers. You can also make a donation towards the appeal from the Diocese of Jerusalem through PWRDF at our Give Today page, then click on Emergency Response and indicate “Gaza” in your donation. You can also donate by calling 416-822-9083 (or leave a message toll-free at 1-866-308-7973 and we will return your call) or by mail. Send your cheque to PWRDF, 80 Hayden Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, Canada, M4Y 3G2. Please indicate “Gaza” in the memo field.