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Israel highest rate of poverty in OECD, 1.8 million Israelis under poverty line

FILE-- Ultra-Orthodox Jewish children stand in line as they wait for a bus in Jerusalem, Thursday, May 8, 2014
AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner
Bedouin community was included in this report for the first time, showing 70% children below poverty line

According to new figures released by the National Insurance Institute this month, Israel maintains his position as country with the highest rate of poverty in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Approximately 1.8 million Israeli’s, including 842,300 children, were living in poverty in 2016.

The poorest region in the country continued to be Jerusalem where 55 percent of children live under the poverty line. This was a reduction from 58% in 2015. Northern and southern Ireland came in second and third place, respectively, reported The Times of Israel citing the NII report.

“In the rankings of OECD countries, Israel continues to place at the top of the poverty scale,” the report said. “At the same time, in terms of inequality, its position is better.”

“Despite the marked improvements in the poverty and inequality rates in 2016, and a drop of a full percentage point in two years in the incidence of poverty among individuals even according to OECD calculations, Israel’s relative position internationally continues to be grave,” the report stated.

AFP

The report also noted few impoverished Arab families, citing a fall from 53.5% in 2015 to 49.4% in 2016. The ultra-Orthodox community, however, represented 15% of poor families in the country, this is three times above their share of the Israeli families in the general population stated The Times of Israel.

However, for the first time in four years, figures on Israel’s Bedouin population were aggregated into overall levels of poverty which showed that 58% of the 17,000 families and 70% of its children are said to be below the poverty line. Excluding these new statistics, the parameters show an improvement overall since 2015.

"I am glad about the downtrend in the number of poor people," said Minister of Labor, Welfare, and Social Services Haim Katz reported Globes, "although we still have 1.8 million people that we have to get out of poverty. The two most prominent trends are a fall in the number of poor people who are senior citizens and in the Arab community." He added, "The ministry will do its best to increase income support allowances by NIS 705 million a year.”

The National Insurance Institute attributes the improvement in the dimensions of inequality and the incidence of poverty to measures taken by Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon and the government with the aim of bolstering the disposable income of low-income families.

(Staff with agencies)

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A matter of definition.

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