Israel approves 58-mln-USD package to aid culture amid COVID-19 crisis

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Israel's culture institutions will receive 200 million new shekels (about 58 million U.S. dollars) in government aid to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, the ministries of finance and culture said Tuesday.

Meeting with representatives from the Israeli cultural institutions, Israel's Minister of Finance Israel Katz and Minister of Culture Hili Tropper agreed on the aid package to maintain the continuity of cultural activities and support local production amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The package includes, in addition to budget support for cultural institutions, encouraging streamlining and consolidation of the institutions, as well as incentivizing local authorities to increase their participation in the institutions' budget.

Support will also be given to ensure the completion of existing film productions in line with the health ministry's guidelines, while the scope of the funding for artists in distress will be doubled.

In addition, it was decided to issue a call for proposals to encourage productions in collaboration with local authorities.

Also on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held consultations on the assessment of the education system.

The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that Netanyahu requested additional data and asked how it would be possible to strengthen the protection of the pupils against COVID-19 infection.

The discussion is scheduled to continue on Wednesday, and Netanyahu will make decisions regarding the education system based on the data presented. 

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