The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany announced this week, per the Associated Press, that the new payments will be distributed to an estimated 240,000 survivors around the world. In a statement shared Tuesday, Gideon Taylor—president of the Claims Conference—explained that these increased benefits were the result of all the hard work their negotiation's delegation has put in during the "unprecedented" COVID-19 era.
"We must meet the challenges of the increasing needs of survivors as they age, coupled with the new and urgent necessities caused by the global pandemic," Taylor said. "It will always remain our moral imperative to keep fighting for every survivor."
Jewish Nazi victims who are eligible for the Hardship fund will now receive two supplement payments of approximately $1,400 each over the next two years, marking a total commitment of roughly $662 million. Earlier this year, an emergency benefit of $4.3 million was distributed by the Claims Conference to organizations that were providing care-related services to survivors.
Greg Schneider, executive VP of the Claims Conference, said that this latest agreement stands to benefit tens of thousands of the "poorest survivors" alive today.
"As survivors age their needs grow ever greater and our persistence does not diminish; we continue to achieve increases in compensation and social welfare services at the same time," Schneider said on Tuesday. "Survivors deserve no less but sadly, their needs will soon wane as survivors pass away in even greater numbers making it an imperative that we continue to meet the challenges they face."
Germany's model for providing assistance to Holocaust survivors while facing its history head-on is often mentioned by advocates for slavery reparations as one worth emulating here in the U.S.