Jewish refugees from eastern ukraine cry as they recount their stories of escape during a gathering in Kiev just before passover..
(photo credit: SAM SOKOL)
The Israeli government has upped its aid to help resettle Ukrainian Jews displaced by their country’s civil war, adding funds to the more than NIS 2 million it has already given since late 2014, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
In October, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry inked a deal with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to create a common fund, three-quarters of which was endowed by the government, to resettle Jewish internally displaced persons within the Ukraine. The money was used to subsidize food and rent costs for a period of two months for those fleeing the Russian-backed separatist uprising in the eastern Donbass industrial region.
After the money ran out in March, officials noted that the refugee crisis was unlikely to abate, with new IDPs appealing for help every day, prompting them to sign a new contract, a senior ministry source told the Post.
“We are taking care of about 2,500 people who need help to stabilize their situation,” he said. “Israel can’t stand by when there are Jewish refugees.”
He did not clarify how much the government allocated for the second round of funding.
In January, another official, speaking to the Post on condition of anonymity, said that the ministry was pushing for expanded Ukraine funding.
“It’s not enough, but as you know there is never [such a thing as] enough,” the source said.
More than 7,000 Ukrainian Jews have immigrated to Israel since the conflict began early last year. In the separatist capital of Donetsk, three-quarters of the prewar Jewish community of between 10,000 and 11,000 have fled.