Israel’s Committee to Fight Poverty struck its blow with recommendations on the order of 6 billion shekels, or more than $1.7 billion, per year, according to media reports.
Noting that more than 20 percent of the Israeli population currently lives below the poverty line, the 50-member committee unveiled on Monday proposals for supplementary assistance to poor families, especially those with children; reducing social workers’ caseloads from as many as 250 to 60; lowering what the elderly pay for medications; and increasing rent subsidies and the supply of public housing.
Leket Israel CEO Gidi Kroch commended the committee members “for their social courage to publish such a well-reasoned and clearly written report, and for their perfect timing, releasing it just as the government begins to work on the 2015 budget.”
“They make some outstanding recommendations, advocate for new cooperations between ministries and a plan to reduce poverty in Israel by 40% over the next ten years,” said Kroch, whose Leket NGO is the country’s National Food Bank and largest food rescue network.
“However, the problem is implementation and I am not optimistic, given the bureaucracy, that this report will garnish real results and bring about a new reality.”
The committee was established eight months ago by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry and led by Eli Alalouf, the former head of the Rashi Foundation, which promotes education and social welfare for children and youth.