$18.7 million worldwide to help survivors vaccinated

March 25, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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A Holocaust Survivor Vaccine Assistance Program (HSVAP) provided by the German government to support Holocaust survivors getting survivors to vaccination locations worldwide.

A COVID-19 vaccination is administered at a Maccabi Healthcare Services vaccination centre in Modi’in, on Dec. 24, 2020. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.

The funds from the HSVAP, $18.7 million, will be deployed by the Claims Conference through an existing network of more than 300 agency partners around the world. Funds will cover costs including, organization of vaccination appointments, transportation to and from appointments, and coordination of follow up care and counselling for survivors before, during and after vaccinations as needed.

Gideon Taylor, President of the Claims Conference said, “Many Holocaust survivors are vulnerable and many are homebound. Getting a vaccine can be a scary step for a Holocaust survivor. Often, they need help getting through the process. Sometimes it is about holding their hands – figuratively and also literally. It is about survivors knowing that they are not alone.”

Currently, there are more than 340,000 Holocaust survivors living around the world. Vaccination distribution varies greatly from location to location, but in many countries, there is ample vaccine but no system that ensures access through transportation, homebound coordination and support, both physical and emotional. The HSVAP is intended to address critical gaps in local programs that do not meet survivor needs, by providing local agencies who support survivors with the funds they need to ensure that Holocaust survivors are not lost amidst local distribution efforts.

Claims Conference Special Negotiator Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, who led the negotiations with the German government, stated, “This added support from the German government will expand our efforts to over forty countries in which Holocaust survivors live. Once national governments make vaccines available, we will be there to ensure that every survivor knows their options, has access to vaccines, and does not feel abandoned. We are very appreciative that the German government responded to our request for support for this essential funding in such a positive way.”

 

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