The Claims Conference has negotiated a historic agreement with the German government to provide €110 million (approximately $145 million) in 2011 for vital homecare services for Jewish Holocaust victims living around the world.
This is double the amount that the Claims Conference negotiated for 2010 and is the largest single amount ever negotiated for homecare for Holocaust victims. With restitution-related sources of funding on the decline, this agreement obtained by the Claims Conference is vital to addressing the growing social welfare needs of aging Holocaust survivors.
The Claims Conference will allocate the German government money worldwide to agencies in 32 countries that provide in-home nursing and vital help with basic activities of daily living such as eating, dressing, bathing, and other services that greatly ease the lives of elderly Holocaust victims and enable them to remain living in their own homes.
"We congratulate the government of Germany for recognizing its historic responsibility to Jewish Holocaust victims, whose advancing age has brought increased hardship to many," said Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, Claims Conference Special Negotiator. "In their final years, survivors who need care and services should not have to fear that they will be forgotten. Germany has been exemplary in facing its past, and the government has demonstrated its commitment to alleviating the plight of elderly victims who need the care that these funds will provide."
"With Holocaust victims all now elderly, the Claims Conference is dedicated to bringing them comfort, care, and dignity," said Chairman Julius Berman. "Our top priority is to continue obtaining funding to assist them in their final years. Aging Holocaust victims must know that the Claims Conference will work tirelessly on their behalf as long as needed."
The Claims Conference negotiating delegation comprises Special Negotiator Amb. Stuart Eizenstat; Holocaust survivor leaders Roman Kent, Ben Helfgott, Noach Flug, and Marian Turski; Rabbi Andrew Baker and Amb. Reuven Merhav; and Claims Conference Executive Vice President Greg Schneider and Special Consultant Saul Kagan.
Since 1995, the Claims Conference has been the foremost organization in the world in identifying and addressing the unique social welfare and health needs of Jewish victims of Nazism. In addition to the funds obtained from the German government, the Claims Conference allocates funds from various restitution-related sources, including the recovery of unclaimed Jewish property in the former East Germany; agreements with the governments of Austria and Hungary; the Swiss Banks Settlement; and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.
For 2011, in total, the Claims Conference is allocating approximately $270 million for services to Nazi victims in 46 countries. Services from other sources of allocations include hunger relief, medical aid, winter assistance, transportation, help in applying for government benefits, and socialization opportunities to relieve loneliness.
Since 2004, the Claims Conference has negotiated with the German government for homecare funding, obtaining increased amounts each year. This agreement is the result of sustained efforts over 18 months by the Claims Conference negotiating delegation and staff.