The German government will distribute $1 billion over the next four years to Holocaust victims for home care, the Jewish Claims Conference announced Tuesday.
The $1 billion (or 772 million euros) will help 146,000 Holocaust survivors around the world
. About 56,000 elderly survivors will receive money for home nursing care, while 90,000 will receive funds for medication, clothing, food, blankets, and social activities, according to Haaretz.
The funding comes after negotiations in Israel between Germany's Ministry of Finance and the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany, which also decided to relax eligibility criteria for restitution programs
to include Jews who spent time in so-called open ghettos, the Jewish Daily Forward reported.
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"We are seeing Germany's continued commitment to fulfill its historic obligation to Nazi victims," Stuart Eizenstat, a former United States ambassador and Claims Conference negotiator, said in a statement. "This ensures that Holocaust survivors, now in their final years, can be confident that we are endeavoring to help them live in dignity, after their early life was filled with indescribable tragedy and trauma. This is all the more impressive since it comes at a time of budget austerity in Germany."
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In 1952, the former West Germany acknowledged that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust and began paying around $2 billion in compensation to Israel. When East and West Germany united in the early 1990s, the two agreed to pay more. This most recent agreement continues the tradition.
"With this new agreement, the Claims Conference will be able to both increase the number of beneficiaries, thus eliminating waiting lists of survivors for homecare, as well as increase the number of hours per person to a minimum level of dignity," Claims Conference board chairman Julius Berman said.
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