At the regular general assembly meeting of Children's Relief Bethlehem in Lucerne, held on June 22, the organization's annual financial and administrative reports were approved. The association runs Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem and is the main contributor to its financial sustainability.
For the second year of the pandemic, the only pediatric hospital in the West Bank was able to operate successfully despite the general socioeconomic distress in the region.
Indeed, in 2021, nearly 45,000 children were treated in the hospital, most of whom received treatment in the outpatient clinics while the number of inpatients exceeded 3,000. That is significantly more than in the previous year, when accessing the hospital was extremely difficult due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic and only emergencies could be treated. The hospital's social services was also in demand, as more than 3,000 patients and their families received financial and social support. Consequently, the hospital was committed to assuring the treatment of all children regardless of their parents' financial condition.
Among the results of the meeting was the election of two new members in the Board of Directors while President Sibylle Hardegger was confirmed in her position. The new members are Hugo Fasel; Delegate of Caritas Switzerland, and Fabian Freiseis; Delegate of the Diocese of Freiburg. In addition to the previous memebrs, the Board of Directors for the new term (July 2022 to June 2024) consists of Michael Angehrn, Jutta Biermayer, Christoph Klitsch-Ott, and Carlo Mordasini zusammen.
About the meeting, Sibylle Hardegger, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, stated, “The organization is well positioned to ensure the future of the hospital. Our goal is to continuously improve the financial support and adapt to the changing needs. I look forward to working with the new board and am grateful for the significant support our donors without which the hospital would not be able to fulfill its tasks comprehensively and successfully”.