While the leaders of Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza rarely start the day with good news, one morning in mid-May was the exception for Ahli’s director, Suhaila Tarazi. She awoke to word that the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ) was awarded a grant from the Harold C. Smith Foundation to enable the hospital’s free community clinic to expand from one day to two days each week to allow an additional 4,500 patients to be cared for over the next 12 months. 

Ahli Arab Hospital operates in a region where the public healthcare system is nearing collapse. “We at Ahli Arab Hospital are grateful for the generosity of Harold C. Smith Foundation and the American Friends of Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. Through their support Ahli will continue to offer hope to the hopeless and continue working for reconciliation, peace, and justice in the Holy Land.”

The grant, which totals $468,572, will extend the access for assessment and treatment of underweight and malnourished children to an additional 400 children and offer care to 300 children with severe burns. By expanding the clinic to a second day, 650 more children and 300 caregivers will receive psychosocial support for trauma, and 800 additional women will be screened for early detection of breast cancer.

Despite this increased ability to serve the community, for these and additional services, the demand for free medical care far outstrips the capacity of the clinic to care for all the people who need treatment.

“Ahli supporters have responded with incredible generosity,” John Lent, executive director of AFEDJ, commented. “The Harold C. Smith Foundation grant will transform thousands of lives by extending access to free medical services for many families in the Beach and Jabalia refugee camps, which are home to some of the poorest neighborhoods in Gaza City. The Harold C. Smith Foundation grant amplifies the generosity of our individual and church supporters. Together we are helping Ahli Hospital offer ministries of healing in a region where it’s needed the most.”

He continued, “Considering the current conditions in Gaza and the pressures faced by Ahli leaders, it is no exaggeration to say that the generosity of Ahli Hospital donors and AFEDJ’s funding partners saves the lives of many incredibly vulnerable children and adults. There is no understating the importance of keeping the doors of Ahli open to all.”

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