In its annual negotiations with Germany, the Claims Conference obtained an additional $320 million for programs for Holocaust survivors.
The additional funds to be distributed over the next decade are a combination of increased payments to survivors, inclusion of additional survivors in the pension programs, and funding for homecare needs of Jewish victims of Nazism.
According to a statement from the German Federal Ministry of Finance, about $71 million has been committed for home care for needy and aging Holocaust survivors through 2009. The Claims Conference distributes the funds to agencies that provide such care to survivors around the world.
The German delegation was led by Finance Ministry State Secretary Karl Diller. The bulk of the talks took place June 4; the Claims Conference announced the results June 6.
Retroactive to June 1, 2008, monthly payments from the Article 2 Fund and the Central and Eastern European Fund to 65,800 survivors worldwide will be raised 8 percent. Payment under the Article 2 Fund will increase to $460 per month from $427. Payments under the CEEF will be raised to $341 per month from $316 to survivors residing in European Union countries.
Monthly CEEF payments to survivors residing in non-EU countries will be $281 per month, up from $261. These increases will result in an extra estimated $166 million pay out over the next decade. Currently, more than 52,000 survivors are receiving Article 2 Fund payments and more than 13,800 survivors are receiving CEEF payments.
The organization also secured an agreement to extend eligibility to Article 2 funds to some 2,000 additional Holocaust survivors originally from western European countries, who had survived concentration camps or ghettos, or who suffered Nazi persecution, who lost one or both parents and who received a one-time payment from the Global Agreement with Germany. The agreement will make some survivors eligible for the first time to receive a pension from the Claims Conference Article 2 Fund, totaling approximately $83 million over the coming decade
The Claims Conference has held talks with Germany since 1952 on behalf of survivors around the world. Further information is available at www.claimscon.org.