The Israeli government on Monday approved a plan to extend and update its plan to integrate citizens of Ethiopian descent.
In approving the proposal, submitted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the government aims to continue accelerating the integration of the immigrant community, numbering around 160,000, or almost two percent of the country’s population.
A total budget of some $66 million will be allocated for 2023-2024 to various government ministries and the Government Urban Renewal Authority to implement the plan, which is based on the insights and achievements of the 2017-2023 government plan for the integration of Israelis of Ethiopian descent.
The goals include continuing to integrate Ethiopian Israelis into military service, closing the income gap and increasing trust between the community and the government, among other aims.
Netanyahu announced in May the creation of a ministerial-level committee to address the needs of the country’s Ethiopian community.
“I am aware that there are additional challenges, but this committee is the tool to continue advancing our brothers and sisters from the Ethiopian community. I know that it will receive the cooperation of all ministries, as has been the case up until now,” said Netanyahu.
The government’s efforts come amid continuing Ethiopian immigration to Israel, including 130 last month, adding to the 5,000 new immigrants from the African country over the last two and half years.