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United Nations’ Report Reveals Israel’s Economic Progress

Israel has made tremendous strides in every phase of economic activity since the State was established, and the plans for the future call for stupendous expenditures, including nearly two and a half billion dollars in foreign currency plus investments in local currency totaling more than a billion Israeli pounds.

These were among the facts and figures revealed here today by a comprehensive report issued by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs. It is a report glowing with statistical material showing that Israel is a dynamic economic entity recording genuine progress despite an increase in population that grew through immigration totaling 680,000 newcomers between May, 1948 and December, 1954.

Israel’s total national income, at current prices, tripled between 1950 and 1953, going from 337,000,000 Israeli pounds in 1950 to 1,050,000,000 in 1953; and there was a further rise of 30 percent in 1954. Much of this increase was due to a rise in prices. However, even discounting that price rise, there is still shown a 42 percent national income increase over the years 1950-1953, and a 15 percent increase in 1954. Total gross investments, the report declares, “was at very high level,” equaling about 45 percent of the national income in 1950, but declining gradually to 30 percent in 1954.

ROLE OF AID FROM U.S. GOVT. AND AMERICAN JEWRY EMPHASIZED

Foreign grants in aid, and foreign investments, especially from the United States, Israel Bond loans and contributions from Jewish organizations abroad have played a vital part in the Israeli economy and are depended upon to continue to play their determinant role, the report shows, Of a total of $140,000,000 worth of bond investments for the entire Middle East, in the years 1944-1953, 90 percent-or approximately $126,000,000-was in the nature of Israel Bonds. Of a total of $533,000,000 of “institutional remittances” to the entire Middle East during those same years, over 90 percent-or well over $480,000,000-came from American givers to Jewish institutions in Israel Even in governmental aid from the United States, Israel did not fare badly by comparison with the rest of the Middle East, the report states.

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