In 2019, the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation (MCCFF) recorded an increase in financial assistance provided to vulnerable people and patients in need of specialist care.
The annual report presented during the first annual general meeting under the Presidency of George Vella, held at San Anton Palace, explained how the assistance given in the year ending 31 December 2019 rose to almost €15.2m, an increase on the €11.85m provided in aid in 2018. This figure is represented by an increase of almost €4.4m in aid to patients and their relatives abroad, specialised medicine, and specialised equipment.
Comparing the last two years, in 2019 the Foundation distributed around €3.3m more than in 2018, while reducing its administrative costs by almost €80,000. During the same period, it experienced a decrease in the total contributions collected from all activities, as these decreased from just over €7m in 2018 to almost €6.5m in 2019. At the same time, the costs related to fundraising activities decreased by almost €90,000, in a bid to keep these costs relatively low compared to the money collected.
The President said that, since the beginning of his Presidency, he regarded the MCCFF as a charitable institution that needed better control over who qualifies for certain benefits. This was done through stricter means of verification, as is the case for government benefits. When referring to the rising cost of anti-cancer medicine, he said that unfortunately the number of patients has also increased.
As a doctor and as father, the President also spoke about the heartache one feels each time one deals with a new case of illness, especially in young patients. While thanking all volunteers and those who contribute to this Foundation, he promised that, together with his wife, he will continue to consider the functioning of the MCCFF as an important mission and a full part of the Presidency in order for it to remain a shelter and a beacon of hope to anyone who needs the services it offers.
Chairperson of the MCCFF Board of Administrators Marlene Mizzi explained the importance that the Foundation attaches to good governance when carrying out its mission. She said that the Foundation bases its work on three main principles: transparency, accountability, and justice. She explained how the Medical Assistance Unit approved more than 1,400 applications, consisting of 36 different types of specialist chemotherapy and assistance abroad. The latter is reflected in more than 200 flights and 1,500 accommodation nights to assist patients and their relatives who needed to travel abroad for treatment.
The financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2019 were read to the General Meeting by the MCCFF Chief Financial Officer Mark Mizzi, while the Chairperson of the MCCFF Financial Committee John Huber gave an account of these statements. The annual report for 2019 can be accessed from the Malta Community Chest Found Foundation website: www.mccff.org.mt.