The Immigrant Absorption Ministry will allocate NIS 2.25 million to fight the brain drain in Israel which has seen leading immigrant scientists and other professionals leave Israel for more attractive jobs abroad. The new funding will create scientific research jobs for immigrants in the Infrastructures, Environmental Protection and Defense ministries. Israel has the highest brain drain rate in the world, losing 8.5% of immigrants annually. The funds will enable the employment of dozens of new immigrant scientists, granting them the opportunity to make a vital contribution to the forefront of Israeli scientific development. A total of NIS 1.5 million has been allocated to the Defense Ministry, NIS 600,000 to the Infrastructures Ministry, and NIS 500,000 to the Ministry of Environmental Protection to absorb the immigrant scientists in new research. Already these funds have led to hundreds of research projects over the past several years. According to the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, since the early 1990s, 16,000 scientists have immigrated to Israel. Over 10,000 have been successfully absorbed by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption through placement in research positions in both the military and civilian industries. Due to budget cuts, the program was to be shut down. However, Ministry Director-General Erez Chalfon fought to keep the program running due to the increasing brain drain here. "We're not trying to steal people away from Intel or Dell. We are just trying to employ a chemist who can do research or an engineer who can design a building," said Director for the Center of Absorption in Science, Omri Ingber, in a phone interview. Examples of projects staffed by immigrant researchers this year included preparation for earthquake readiness, recycling and treatment of raw sewage water, and groundwater pollution prevention.