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Israel ups allowances to Holocaust survivors

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Israel will increase its payments to Holocaust survivors.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced Monday that survivors older than 70 will receive a special supplement to their pensions and welfare allowances totaling some $28 million in 2008. The sum will rise to $56 million in 2009 and about $70 million by 2011.

That will translate into an additional $20 per month per survivor in 2008 for some 120,000 Holocaust survivors older than 70 living in Israel.

In addition to the monthly grant, paid through the National Insurance Institute, millions of shekels will be allocated to agencies such as the Holocaust Survivors’ Welfare Fund, which pays for the medical treatment of survivors.

“We are correcting a 60-year-old blight,” Olmert said. “The neglect of successive governments will not continue. It is important to see to it that Holocaust survivors receive these supplements and are able to live honorably.”

The decision follows recommendations drawn up by an interministerial committee.

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