While Immigrant Absorption Ministry data show that aliya figures are down about 9.3 percent for 2007, immigration is up in countries in which Nefesh B'Nefesh operates, according to the organization. Nefesh B'Nefesh said in a statement that more than 3,000 immigrants had come to Israel from the countries in which it operated this year. "Despite these discouraging figures, Nefesh B'Nefesh is celebrating our sixth year of consistent growth in the amount of olim we bring to Israel," said Nefesh B'Nefesh co-chairman and former ambassador to the US, Danny Ayalon. "In truth, we could have brought many more people to Israel if we had more funds available to assist the growing number of Westerners wishing to make aliya." According to aliya statistics provided by Nefesh B'Nefesh, the numbers of immigrants from North America have jumped from 1,848 in 2000 (when the organization was founded) to 3,190 this year. Because the total number of immigrants from around the world has dropped significantly over the last seven years (from 61,813 in 2000 to an estimated 19,330 this year), the percentage of immigrants from North America has gone up significantly - from just 3% in 2000 to 16.5% this year.