Photo: Ido Erez
Israelis pick food off market floor
Photo: Ido Erez

New report claims 2.6 million Israelis live in poverty

Latet foundation releases compilation of surveys showing official government report vastly under-measured state of Israel's poorest.

A new report released by the Latet foundation on Monday paints an even starker picture of poverty in Israel than a gloomy official report published last week.



According to the charitable organization, a quarter of the children whose parents accept assistance from foundations were reported as going to sleep hungry several times a month, with 36% of children whose families receive aid were forced to work in order to keep the family afloat.


Six days after the National Insurance Institute released its poverty report, the alternative Latet publication shows a dramatic rise of 45% in children of supported families who were forced to move into state-run boarding schools.


Man scavenging for food in Tel Aviv (Photo: Ido Erez) (Photo: Ido Erez)
Man scavenging for food in Tel Aviv (Photo: Ido Erez)

The Latet repot also revealed a 14% increase in the amount of senior citizens, who receive assistance, that are forced to forego medication and treatments. Over 70 percent of the charity-recipients reported a shortage of sufficient nutrition, with 10 percent being forced to scavagne for food in trash cans, beg for change, or eat leftovers found in the garbage.


The report, which focused on the situation amongst the most impoverished elements in Israel, was based on three surveys. One polled people receiving assistance from charity foundations, another looked at public opinion regarding economic conditions and the government response, and the final survey questioned the managers of some 100 food charities.


Man panhandling in Jerusalem (Photo: Gil Yohanan) (צילום: גיל יוחנן)
Man panhandling in Jerusalem (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


A new poverty index, compiled by ERI for Latet and based on basic necessities, found that poverty rates were significantly higher than those reported by the government agency. According to the new index, some 2,546,000 Israelis live below the poverty line - including 932,000 children.


The NII report claimed that 1,600,000 Israelis were living in poverty.


Elderly Israelis pick food from market floor in Tel Aviv (Photo: Ido Erez) (Photo: Ido Erez)
Elderly Israelis pick food from market floor in Tel Aviv (Photo: Ido Erez)


The Latet surveys, conducted in the second half of 2014, reflect the effects of cutbacks in stipends for children and the increase in sales tax, claimed the foundation's researchers. They emphasized that the official report only examined 2013, thus missing the recent deterioration in the condition of Israel's most impoverished citizens.


The Latet report, however, was not supervised by an independent academic review. It relied on the development of an index by the foundation's researchers and on the subjective reports of the people polled; as opposed to the NII report, which was based on objective calculations regarding income and expenses.


פרסום ראשון: 12.22.14, 11:25
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