Remembering the Holocaust
Remembering the HolocaustIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The German government has announced its decision to raise the aid it gives to Holocaust survivors. The reparation amounts for 2011 will stand at 110 million Euros per year, up from 55 million Euros in 2010.

The announcement on the increase in aid was made by Claims Conference VP Shlomo Gur on Tuesday during a meeting of the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee.

Gur said that the amount has been set aside for the purpose of providing social and nursing services to all Holocaust survivors around the world. He estimated that Holocaust survivors around the world currently number about 520,000 people, half of whom live in Israel.

MK Lia Shemtov (Yisrael Beiteinu), who chairs the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee, said during the meeting that in addition to the increase by the Germans, Israel’s Finance Ministry must also increase the funds allocated for the Holocaust Survivors' Welfare Fund, and that fund management should work to increase donations from abroad.

She added that many survivors are not only lonely, but unable to finance basic purchases of medicines, dental care, eyeglass repair, hearing aids or travel costs for dialysis treatments.

Holocaust Survivors' Welfare Fund deputy director Yehuda Dim said that the fund currently has approximately 20,000 requests for financial assistance by Holocaust survivors. He explained that these requests have not been responded to, due to lack of funding.