Nearly seven decades after the end of World War II, many Israeli Holocaust survivors are not having their food needs met, a foundation says.
As the world marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday, the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel reported that 20 percent of the survivors it surveyed said they suffered from the cold in the winter. A quarter said they had enough food, but it was not always desirable. Five percent said they did not have enough food of any kind.
The foundation is a private organization that provides home health care, volunteer assistance and financial support to Holocaust survivors. Its chairman, Elazar Stern, accused the government of not properly allocating all resources earmarked for Holocaust survivors.
He said the survey reflected the rising needs of Holocaust survivors in Israel - which includes more physical assistance and financial support. "As someone who knows the survivors' situation in Israel, this matter is unacceptable," Stern said.
For his part, Social Affairs Minister Moshe Kahlon said his ministry was "working to enable these heroes who survived the Nazi horrors to grow old in dignity in Israel." He added that this was not just a matter of slogans but an obligation "for us all" that must be carried out with sensitivity.
About half the 200,000 Holocaust survivors in Israel receive some kind of payments from the Israeli government or European governments, the ministry said. This comes on top of the reparations the German government pays survivors.
Of the 100,000, about 80,000 receive Israeli government welfare allocations and 20,000 receive special payments from the governments of Germany, France or the Netherlands. Those with limited incomes also receive services from Israeli welfare authorities and grants from the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims.
About 12,800 Holocaust survivors in Israel die annually, about 35 a day, the report said.
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