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One-third of Israel is at risk of poverty

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JERUSALEM — One-third of Israelis are at risk of poverty, a new Israeli government report shows.

The Central Bureau of Statistics report issued Oct. 17 shows that some 31% of Israelis were at risk of poverty in 2010, compared to 27% 12 years ago. Some 16% of European Union residents fall into the category.

Being at risk of poverty means that one’s household’s per capita income is less than 60% of the median disposable income. Israel’s poverty line was at $506 for 2010. The amount to be labeled at risk of poverty is anything less than $610.

Released ahead of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the data also show that 40% of Israeli children were at risk of poverty, compared to 20% in the EU.

The report also found that 32% of Jewish households in Israel said they were unable to cover all monthly expenses, such as food, electricity and telephone bills, and 8% could not reach the end of the month without incurring debt.

“Alongside concerns about those who are living in poverty, we see that a high proportion of working Israelis are not managing to make ends meet,” Yisrael Livman, founder and director of Mekimi, a nonprofit organization that advises and assists Israelis in financial crisis, said in a statement.

“Many of the people we assist are working six days a week, serving their reserve duty in the Army, and bringing up large families. A sudden change in circumstances, such as illness, failure of a business or unexpected unemployment, can cause a major financial crisis for the entire family.”

 

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