Ministry wants 1.2 million residents in the Negev by 2025

The Negev and Galilee Development Ministry aims to have 1.2 million residents – double the current figure – in the Negev by the 2025, the office announced at a Thursday conference that focused on the economic and social future of the region.
The conference, called NegeVision 2011, was organized in Yeruham by Haaretz’s The Marker and NegevCo, a company that assists projects that will bring development, employment and social opportunities to the Negev. Presenting her office’s vision for 2025, Negev and Galilee Development Ministry chief Orna Uzman Bachor projected that the cities of Arad, Yeruham and Dimona would triple in population size, while 40 new industrial and technological facilities would spring up in the next five years alone. Others expressed confidence that the probable construction of a future Training Base City (Ir Habahadim) would bring increased vitality to the area.
"All the momentum that has grown in the Negev is thanks to the wonderful human capital that is found here, and the transfer of army families south,” Bachor said, according to a statement. “We are subsidizing rent for permanent families and we are actively working to increasing employment and strengthen central cities that will absorb new residents."