Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday that the government will expand an aid package to help deal with the coronavirus outbreak up to a total of USD 2.8 Billion or 10 billion shekels. 8 Billion shekels of that will be allocated towards businesses in the form of cheap loans. Additionally, 1 Billion shekels will be used to increase medicine stocks and prepare hospitals for a large volume of patients as the final billion shekels will be allocated towards miscellaneous needs such as the police force.
These funds will be ready and utilized as required as situations arise. The Prime Minister announced at a news conference that funds will be added if it is required to fight coronavirus. The government has promised to withhold 4 billion shekels in a credit line for banks to lend money to businesses that face a cash crisis, included with government guarantees. “A business that has been hurt is entitled to ask for a loan from the fund. We lowered the interest rates,” Netanyahu said.
Currently, Israel has 82 confirmed cases of coronavirus and is taking measures to contain it from spreading. Anyone that arrives must self-quarantine for 14 days. Numerous airlines have suspended service to Israel. The Prime Minister has also banned gathers of over 100 people.
“The Israeli economy has ample room to cushion uncertainty,” Citi strategist Luis Costa said.
Written by Danny Abramov.
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