Israeli Cabinet Increases Budget for Holocaust Survivors
The government has announced its plans to increase the basket of services available to Holocaust survivors, setting the budget at NIS 225 for 2012.
The Cabinet also decided that over 8,500 Holocaust survivors will receive a NIS 580 supplement to their monthly support payments, which are currently between NIS 2,000-7,000.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the recommendations for the increase with the support of Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Deputy Minister for Senior Citizen Affairs Leah Nass and Knesset Finance Committee Chairman Moshe Gafni.
"Time is urgent and the survivors are, to our sorrow, leaving our world,” said Prime Minister Netanyahu at the onset of Tuesday’s cabinet meeting. “We want to remember those who perished, the 6 million brothers and sisters, and heed the lessons of the Holocaust in order to ensure the future of our people."
Nass said that approximately 200,000 Holocaust survivors are living in Israel, including about 70,000 who were forced to experience life in concentration camps and ghettos during the Holocaust.
"Until recently, many of them had not even tried to use their rights," Nass said. "In recent years we have succeeded in reaching 120,000 survivors, 50,000 of whom we went to their homes in order to help them utilize their rights and receive the government assistance which they are due."
Finance Minister Steinitz noted that the budget for the Holocaust Survivors Rights Authority currently stands at NIS 2.9 billion, as opposed to NIS 1.5 billion in 2005. He added that the Authority is currently assisting approximately 90,000 Holocaust survivors, as opposed to 51,000 in 2005.
“Since its establishment, the current Government has worked to improve assistance to Holocaust survivors living in Israel,” affirmed a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office. Over time, the Israeli government has increased the number of those eligible for persecution disability support payments, as well as the rights and benefits to which they are entitled. Survivors receive electricity discounts, assistance in purchasing medications and medical equipment, as well as nursing assistance.