THE diocese in Jerusalem has raised more than £75,000 in grants and donations to buy a new ambulance and medical supplies for St Luke’s Hospital, Nablus, in northern Palestine.
The hospital was founded by the Church Missionary Society more than a century ago, and today serves a mainly Muslim area of the Holy Land. The 60-bed hospital treats about 20,000 patients a year, and was in “desperate need” of a new ambulance, the chief executive of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Anglican Communion Fund, Safiya Nyirongo, said this week.
“Their current ambulance is more than 15 years old, and is unreliable and in frequent need of costly repair,” she explained. “The lack of a reliable emergency vehicle has put the hospital’s future operation in jeopardy, as the Ministry of Health requires a suitable emergency vehicle as part of the licensing criteria.”
The fund offers financial support and emergency aid to communities in the Communion. It has given a £10,000 grant to the hospital, and its ongoing online appeal has raised more than £75,000 (including Gift Aid) since last November. This includes £40,000 in donations from the United States, managed by the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.
Diocese of JerusalemThe old ambulance of St Luke’s Hospital,, Nablus, in northern Palestine Nablus, in northern Palestine
One donor has also offered to match-fund up to £20,000 in donations.
The target is £83,000. A new vehicle will cost about £45,000, plus more than £15,000 to convert it into an ambulance. An additional £21,000 is needed to equip the ambulance with medical supplies, including a stretcher, wheelchair, and ventilator.
“For more than 100 years, Saint Luke’s Hospital in Nablus has demonstrated the love of Christ in Palestine through compassionate medical service and health care,” Ms Nyirongo said. “Securing a new, reliable, and well-equipped ambulance will keep this hospital open and operating, ensuring an important Christian presence remains in the area for years to come.”
In Nablus, there have been violent clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinian security forces. Last week, Israeli militants reportedly attacked two Palestinian schools in the area with live ammunition, rocks, and teargas. The schools were evacuated and no one was injured.