The state of Israel is going through its deepest crisis in its existence. At present there are more than 1.5 million Israelis (i.e. 23.6% of the population) who live below the poverty line, and 714,000 children (i.e. 1 in 3) who suffer from social distress.
After several years of recession, the Israeli economy has recently seen a revival, with growth in its markets.
Government statistics indicate that the gross domestic product decreased in 2001 by –0.9%, by -0.7% in 2002, and slowly increased by +1.3% in 2003 and by +4.3% in 2004, +5,2% in 2005.
Nevertheless, the positive effects of this economic growth have not yet reached the population at large, as the increase in the national budget is being allocated for security purposes.
The central bureau of statistics and the “Bitu’ach Le’umi” (social security) have published a report on poverty, which reveals a severe decline in the living conditions of the Israeli population.
In fact, almost one out of four Israelis has to miss one meal a day. This includes 714,000 children, meaning that 1 out of 3 children suffer from social distress (31.7%).
This in addition to the 83,000 elderly people who are without means, and are left by the wayside.