NEW YORK (Jan. 21)
The executive board of Switzerland’s Holocaust Memorial Fund approved in principle the total allocation Jewish groups are seeking to distribute to survivors worldwide.
The board also approved at its meeting Wednesday some $8 million for immediate payment to Hungarian survivors, according to a statement issued by the board.
Some 100,000 Jewish survivors around the world may receive distributions from the fund, the statement added.
The board gave its approval to distributions totaling more than $150 million, according to the executive director of the World Jewish Congress, Elan Steinberg.
Steinberg added that distributions would begin to survivors in the United States in some three to four months.
Some $2 million was transferred last week for distribution to Hungarian survivors, according to a source close to the fund.
The agreement in principle reached Wednesday came in addition to the $11 million allocated last year by the fund.
The source gave a rough breakdown of how most of the funds would be distributed to survivors once the board gives its final approval: approximately $59 million to survivors in Israel, roughly the same amount to survivors in Eastern Europe and about $33 million to survivors living in the United States.
The fund was established last February by Switzerland’s three largest banks to aid needy survivors worldwide. It is has a board made up of Swiss, American Jewish and Israeli officials.