Finance Ministry to double budget of Holocaust Survivors’ Welfare Fund
By Ruth Sinai, Haaretz Correspondent

The Finance Ministry agreed Wednesday to double the budget of the Holocaust Survivors’ Welfare Fund, after reports last year that up to 40 percent of survivors in Israel are living below the poverty line.

Half of the additional NIS 7 million will be transferred to the fund by Passover, in mid-April, and the rest will be handed over when the fund’s 2006 budget is approved, probably in June. The treasury will consider transferring an additional NIS 3 million at the end of the year.

Fund chairman Zeev Factor and CEO Dov Arbel said Wednesday that the additional funding is only a partial solution to the hardships being faced by survivors since, by their estimates, there is a budgetary shortfall of some NIS 45 million in 2006.