Israel’s Immigrant Absorption Ministry will cut NIS 5.5 million from its budget for integrating Ethiopian immigrants this year, while the funds for immigrants from other countries will be cut by only hundreds of thousands of shekels at most.
The Knesset Finance Committee approved the proposal Tuesday.
The cuts were part of across-the-board cuts the Finance Ministry has ordered at all ministries. The cabinet has approved the transfer of NIS 10 billion from ministries to pay for a hike in the defense budget, free preschool education from age 3 and other educational programs, and the Negev detention center to house illegal immigrants.
The ministry’s annual budget for integrating Ethiopian immigrants is NIS 86.2 million - less than 1 percent of the ministry’s total budget of NIS 1.3 billion. The money for the Ethiopian immigrants is used for housing, education, welfare services, community activities, absorption centers and help in finding permanent housing.
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