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More than 1.7 million People are living in Poverty in Israel today, says National Insurance Institute Report

In 2015 there were 1,712,900 people, including 460,800 families and 764,200 children living below poverty line

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Representational image. Pixabay

Jerusalem, Dec 15, 2016: More than 1.7 million people — some 21.7 percent of the population — are living in poverty in Israel today, according to the annual poverty report released by the National Insurance Institute on Thursday.

According to the report, which is based on data gathered by the Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2015 there were 1,712,900 people, including 460,800 families and 764,200 children living below poverty line.

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The report, published by online JPost, found that the overall poverty rate decreased from 22 per cent in 2014 while the number of families living in poverty increased from 18.8 per cent in 2014 to 19.1 per cent in 2015.

Poverty among children decreased from 31 per cent in 2014 to 30 per cent in 2015 and poverty among the elderly decreased from 22.3 per cent in 2014 to 21.7 per cent in 2015.

In defining poverty, the findings indicated that an individual with a monthly income of less than NIS 3,158 ($821) and couples earning less than NIS 5,053 ($1,314) per month were considered to be living below the poverty line; whereas a family of five individuals must earn more than NIS 9,475 ($2,465)to be considered above the poverty line.

According to the report, the standard of living in terms of disposable median income per capita rose in real terms by 3.3 per cent in 2015, as did the poverty line.

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According to the report’s author, Daniel Gottlieb, Deputy Director-General for Research and Planning at the NII, this was most likely due to the reinstatement of child allotments in 2015.

The data also broke down the poverty rates between different population groups in Israel.

Among ultra-Orthodox families, the poverty rate decreased from 54.3 per cent in 2014 to 48.7 per cent in 2015, accounting for 17 per cent of poor families in Israel.

The reason for the decrease, the report notes, is primarily due to the increase in income due to employment and the reinstatement of child allotments.

In the Arab population, the poverty rate of Arab families increased to 53.3 per cent in 2015 from 52.6 per cent in 2014, while the poverty rate among children also increased from 63.5 per cent in 2014 to 65.6 per cent in 2015.

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When compared to other OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, Israel still has the highest poverty rates of all developed countries, the report noted.

In addition, the GINI index of inequality showed slight improvement, however, the country continues to remain among those with the highest measure of inequality. (IANS)

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Israel to Help India with Desertification and Water Management

World Day to Combat Desertification, which is observed every June 17 to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification

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The country is one of the world's leading nations in desert technologies and methods of dealing with desertification. Wikimedia Commons

At a time when several parts of India are facing acute water shortage and drought situation, Israel has expressed its keenness to share its experience in dealing with desertification and water management, in which it is a world leader.

Israel, with over 60 per cent of its territory being a desert and another 20 per cent semi-arid land, has developed a variety of solutions to desertification through desert agriculture, irrigation, desalination, aquaculture, afforestation and management of water resources. The country is one of the world’s leading nations in desert technologies and methods of dealing with desertification.

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The statement assumes significance as it comes at a time when several parts of India are facing acute water shortage and drought situation. Wikimedia Commons

“As part of our growing partnership with India, Israel is keen to work together and share all its experience and cutting edge technology in our joint fight against desertification, including a strategic partnership on water management and water security,” said Israeli Ambassador to India Ron Malka in a statement.

His statement came in the context of World Day to Combat Desertification, which is observed every June 17 to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. The statement assumes significance as it comes at a time when several parts of India are facing acute water shortage and drought situation.

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World Day to Combat Desertification, which is observed every June 17 to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. Wikimedia Commons

A statement issued by the Israeli Embassy said MASHAV, the country’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, places special emphasis on development cooperation and assistance in the fight against desertification and drought by introducing international programs of capacity building, training, project development and research.

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MASHAV’s approach is based on Israel’s experience in facing harsh climatic conditions, combines the transfer of adaptable technology, research and development, and a hands-on experience originating from leading Israeli experts and institutions, it added.

Under the Indo-Israeli Agricultural Project with the federal and state governments of India, the centre of excellence for date palms in the heart of the desert in Bhuj, Gujarat introduced Indian farmers to date palms suitable for arid conditions made more common by desertification, the statement said. Date palms are ideal value crops for farmers in arid conditions that can be found in India and Israel alike, it added. (IANS)