16 Kislev, 5765
Following the Report on Poverty: JAFI Treasurer Requests a Further $4 million in Immediate Emergency Assistance for Thousands of Holocaust Survivors Now Below the Poverty Line
The allocations committee of the Claims Conference convened in Jerusalem today to discuss the annual assistance benefits for Holocaust survivors. At the meeting, JAFI Treasurer Shai Hermesh called for a $4 million increase in the budget to assist thousands of elderly Holocaust survivors who now find themselves part of the cycle of poverty.
Every year, the allocations committee transfers $20 million to a special fund for assisting individual Holocaust survivors in Israel. To date, the fund has assisted 150,000 cases in Israel, mainly by providing personal equipment and increasing the number of hours of long-term care for the survivors. Some 350,000 Holocaust survivors currently reside in Israel.
The poverty report published today includes thousands of Holocaust survivors who, over the last two years, have joined the ranks of the poor. As a result, the Vice-President of the Claims Conference and JAFI Treasurer Shai Hermesh called on the committee to increase the budget by 20% from reserve funds in the US. This in an effort to provide the poor, aged survivors with long-term care assistance: "This is our most basic obligation towards them. It is our moral duty to help them spend their remaining years with dignity and minimum suffering. The severe economic and social conditions in Israel, including a substantial cut in old-age pensions and relief payments, as reflected in today's poverty report, have made their situation more precarious and resulted in thousands more joining the ranks of the poor. The reserves accumulated by the committee are designated for use in case of emergency - we are now in such an emergency situation", said Hermesh.
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