The Israeli government has approved a national plan allocating a budget increase of NIS 1 Billion (about $ 288,686,000) per year to assist the Holocaust survivors. The budget will be added to the NIS 835 million in funding that Finance Minister Yair Lapid has already allotted for Holocaust survivors aid for the next five years. The national plan aims at reducing the bureaucracy faced by survivors, and improve their living conditions. The minimum allowances for all Holocaust survivors who receive monthly pensions will increase from NIS 1,825 ($ 526.9) to NIS 2,200 ($ 635), and would entitle survivors to a 100% discount on pharmaceutical drugs included in the health basket, compared to the 50% deductible they have today.
The decision is following the report from the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel’s revealing that of the 193,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel today, some 50,000 live in poverty, with 1 out of 5 Holocaust survivors forced to choose between food and medication during the past two years. The report also showed 60% of Holocaust survivors are worried about their financial situation, and 61% said they had not felt any difference in the past year regarding government assistance and treatment.