TEL AVIV (Sep. 25)
The United States aid program is “interested in transferring the tent dwellers of the immigrant camps to permanent housing before the rainy season, in supplying food and in developing irrigation schemes and social welfare functions,” Bruce McDaniel, director of the U.S. Technical Cooperation Administration, said at Nathanya last night.
The TCA administrator, winding up a two-day tour of projects and enterprises launched with funds from the American grant-in-aid to Israel and the counterpart funds supplied by Israel, said that “as in the past, we will continue to cooperate with the Israel Government for the development of the country.”
Mr. McDaniel told reporters here that Israel’s hospital capacity of 317 beds per 100,000 population was regarded as too low. He said that 900,000 pounds had been released from counterpart funds for erection of prefabricated hospital units imported from Finland. Of this amount, 200,000 pounds was for hospitals in Nathanya to serve the western Galilee and in Poria for the eastern Galilee.
For housing needs, he said, $2,400,000 had been appropriated from the grant-in-aid and 2,500,000 pounds would be released from counterpart funds for the erection of 1,100 Finnish pre-cut wooden housing units and 1,700 prefabricated Austrian houses. These, he said, would replace 2,800 tents. Transfer of immigrants to permanent housing, he said, was regarded as a primary goal of the government.
The TCA administrator visited the Kfar Jona housing project where 115 wooden houses have been constructed to house 500 people who formerly lived in 150 tents in the Beitlid immigrant camp and who suffered severely in last winter’s torrential storms. Garden plots are attached to each house.
For irrigation projects intended to increase agricultural production, the grant-in-aid program provided more than $2,000,000 in pipe, fittings and related materials, Mr. McDaniel said. Counterpart funds released to facilitate local projects reached 700,000 pounds.
Counterpart funds are also being used, he revealed, for the re-education of immigrant children and adjustment of youth to productivity. The sum of 100,000 pounds has been released from counterpart funds for this, he said, and 40,000 pounds is being released to maintain a children’s home at Kfar Hassidim.