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How much does Israel's aid mission to Haiti cost the state?

Israel's rescue mission to earthquake-ravaged Haiti is costing the state some NIS 40 million, a sum which is likely to rise the longer the delegation remains in the country.

The Israel Defense Forces contingent cost NIS 30 million for the first week, according to figures obtained by TheMarker. Of the total, NIS 10 million was allocated for the construction of its satellite communications center and another NIS 10 million was spent for the jumbo aircraft carrying large quantities of medical supplies.

The state also spent some NIS 8 million for the Foreign Ministry delegation currently in Haiti.

Each additional day spent by the 230-strong Israeli delegation in Haiti will likely cost the state NIS 1.5 million, a figure which does not include communication costs.

If, as expected, the delegation remains in the country for an entire month, the total cost is likely to reach upwards of between NIS 80-90 million.

Such an expenditure would represent twice the amount that the Foreign Ministry spends on its public relations (hasbara) efforts. In 2009, its hasbara budget stood at NIS 40 million. In 2010, it will increase to NIS 45 million.

"During recent years the IDF has taken part in a number of aid delegations following earthquakes, missions in which the IDF has extended aid and contributed its experience in the field of search and rescue and medical care in both Israel and around the world," the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said. "In its efforts to aid others, the IDF acts on behalf of the state of Israel and in its name, first and foremost out of humanitarian concerns. Therefore the cost of the mission becomes a secondary topic." 


Haaretz
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