Netanyahu Announces NIS 4 Billion Government Assistance Fund
The fund will support companies experiencing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus crisis
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday a NIS 4 billion ($1.147 billion) government assistance fund for companies experiencing financial difficulties due to the Covid-19 crisis. While he had announced the fund last week, financial details were not disclosed until now.
During a government meeting Sunday, Netanyahu listed the steps the government will take. “First, we will disinfect public facilities; second, we will recruit the air force and airlines to ensure the supply chain on which the Israeli economy depends continues under any circumstances; third, we will recruit the best minds in Israel to efficiently separate between the healthy and the sick.” Netanyahu added that on Monday, the government will convene a meeting with science and health representatives to cut down on testing time and increase testing reach. The fourth step, he said, is the assistance fund.
Moshe Kahlon (left) and Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Alex Kolomvisky
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said at the meeting that NIS 2 billion ($573.7 million) will be infused into the new fund immediately, to support small businesses. The remaining NIS 2 billion, he said, require further procedures, but they, too, will be provided. “We are treating this crisis according to segments,” he said. “Some businesses felt the effects at once, such as airlines and tourism companies, and will receive immediate assistance. There are also indirect damages to businesses, and we will take care of that as well.”
Israel already has support funds, Kahlon said, but no coronavirus-related clause exists yet. “We will take care of that within 48 hours, and then requests could be submitted and the money received.”