Itongadol.- Of the 193,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel today some 50,000 live in poverty, according to a report released Wednesday by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel.
The report consisted of several elements, including updated statistics gathered by the Foundation as well as two telephonic surveys conducted in the beginning of April – one among 400 Holocaust survivors and the second among 500 respondents from the general public.
The findings from the survey of Holocaust survivors indicated that 45% of the survivors feel “alone” and one out of every five survivors was forced to choose between food and medications during the past two years due to financial problems.
The survey found that 60% of Holocaust survivors are worried about their financial situation. In addition, 55% of survivors said they are unhappy with the way the government treats them and 61% said they did not feel any difference or changes in the past year with the way the government assists and treats them.
Furthermore, 43% of Holocaust survivors fear that the Holocaust will happen again.
In comparison, the public survey findings indicated that a majority of the general population, 84%, believe the treatment of Holocaust survivors was “not good.”
Of the respondents, 52% believe that a majority of Holocaust survivors live in poverty and only 10% said they believe the situation of Holocaust survivors was “good or adequate.” In addition, 56% of the general public said they did not believe there was any change made by the government this past year with regards to treating and assisting Holocaust survivors.
Despite this, only 39% of people surveyed said they know a Holocaust survivor.
According to the report, the average age of the Holocaust survivor is 85 and two thirds are women. Each year an estimated 13,000 survivors pass away.
In the past year, around 70,000 Holocaust survivors requested assistance from the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel.
Of the survivors seeking assistance from the Foundation, 65% are above the age of 80, and 45% are above the age of 86. Furthermore, 86% live on a monthly income of less that NIS 5000 and 66% live on a monthly income of up to NIS 3000.
Earlier this month Finance Minister Yair Lapid announced a NIS one billion national plan to assist Holocaust survivors.
The intended budget will be added to the NIS 835 million already allotted by the ministry for the next five years to assist Holocaust survivors.