The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany announced on Wednesday that after negotiations with the German government on behalf of Holocaust survivors, it has agreed to give $662 million in aid to an estimated 240,000 survivors.

“These increased benefits achieved by the hard work of our negotiation’s delegation during these unprecedented times will help our efforts to ensure dignity and stability in survivors’ final years,” said Gideon Taylor, president of the Claims Conference, in a statement on the website of the New York-based organization.

“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,” he added.

The funds will go to survivors—those eligible for the additional payments—who mostly live in Israel, North America, the former Soviet Union and Western Europe, according to the statement.

Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, Claims Conference Special Negotiator, stated: “These additional Hardship Fund payments, along with the global allocation of over $653 million for social-welfare services, will impact Holocaust survivors globally.”

As a result of the negotiations, Germany also agreed to expand the categories of survivors eligible for payments by including the results of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum regarding “open ghettos” in Bulgaria. The expanded eligibility also includes such ghettos in Romania as a result of a report by Yad Vashem.

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