Netanyahu: urgent need to help needy Holocaust survivors

The Israeli government has responded to the "urgent" need to help the country's poverty-stricken and increasingly frail Holocaust survivors.

This week the country marks its annual Holocaust memorial day – Yom HaShoah, when a siren is sounded commencing a national silence and commemorations and services will take place around Israel.

There are still around 200,000 survivors of the concentration camps and other Nazi atrocities living in Israel. According to the Jaffa Institute, an anti-poverty charity, more than a quarter live below the poverty line.

The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said at a cabinet meeting earlier today that there would be a 13 per cent increase in the funds allocated to Holocaust survivors, with an extra $13 million set aside to provide those who live in the deepest poverty stipends each month.

"Time is short, and unfortunately survivors are leaving this world," he said. "We want to remember the six million victims, our brothers and sisters, and act on the lessons of the Holocaust to ensure the future of our people."

Last updated: 3:57pm, April 17 2012