Poverty fell slightly year over year for the first time in a while, however Israel still fluctuates between being the poorest and second poorest country in the OECD.
Every year, the Israeli government releases a report on the current poverty situation in Israel. However, before this report comes out, various NGOs like to release their own findings as well. This year, Latet published their Alternative Poverty Report for the 2016 year. The findings? A disastrous situation in all. The report details the fact that over 1.6 million Israeli citizens are living under the poverty line. And, it’s worse once you take a more in-depth look.
A total of 1.41 million adults and 1.025 million children live under the poverty line. Close to 35% of these poor children skipped a meal during a regular day due to their family’s financial position. Over 11% of these children did not each for an entire day as well. And, over 60% of parents skipped out on medical treatment for themselves or their children. Moreover, the elderly were just as susceptible. Around 50% did not eat enough food, while close to 60% were in a state of bad health due to their economic woes.
Now, various groups and organizations will surely point to the government’s poverty report (when it’s released later this month) more-so than other poverty reports such as Latet’s. The Israeli government’s report, which is known as the National Insurance Institute (NII), garners a great deal of attention each year. As such, it is generally used as the benchmark score for poverty depiction across the State of Israel.
NII vs. NGOs – Who to Trust?
Naturally, many people are inclined to trust government data, primarily due to the resources at the government’s disposal. However, in the case of poverty, NGOs may provide a more accurate description of the situation in Israel.
The NII measure poverty in Israel based on a person’s income alone. Latet, however, uses several ‘benchmarks’ in determining the true poverty levels. This includes housing, education, food security, the ability to meet the cost of living, and health.
Either way, Latet’s report is daunting while the NII’s upcoming report is likely to be almost equally as troubling.
While there are various government initiatives providing the underprivileged with basic necessities, most of the poor citizens of Israel rely on organizations like Yad Ezra V’Shulamit for help. This help comes from outside sources like you. With your assistance, we will be able to continue to lower the poverty rate in Israel. Please consider donating today.