Israel boosts budget for Holocaust survivors

April 17, 2012 - 10:16 AM
Mideast Israel Palestinians

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows an item dedicated to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial as part of their campaign called 'Gathering the Fragments' as he chairs a cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem offices a day before Israel begins it annual Holocaust Memorial Day, Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Netanyahu shows a family photo and a shirt worn by Refael Denty, a four-year-old Jewish boy from Athens, Greece, who perished in the Auschwitz death camp. The shirt was donated by Refael's sister, Nina Abayov, one of the only survivors from her entire family, whose aunt returned to the family home after the war and rescued any possessions that had not been looted: linens and clothes, including the shirt belonging to little Refael.(AP Photo/Jim Hollander, Pool)

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israel Cabinet has boosted its budget for assisting Holocaust survivors.

Tuesday's move comes a day before the country marks its annual Holocaust Memorial Day for the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis in World War II.

Less than 200,000 aging survivors remain in Israel. Many live in poverty and previous governments have been criticized for not doing enough to allow them to live out their lives in dignity.

The government says the basket of services for Holocaust survivors will rise to $60 million for 2012, a 13 percent increase. An additional $13 million will directed toward increasing monthly stipends of particularly needy survivors. Stipends currently range between $530 and $1,900 each month.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was "urgent" to help survivors.