The Fight to Eliminate Poverty in Israel
In 2020, Israel faced a massive increase in poverty as COVID-19 spread throughout the world. In 2019, reports determined that poverty in Israel rose by 0.5%. There was a significant increase in the poverty rate from 22.4% in 2019 to 23% in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic being a contributor. In fact, Israel’s economy contracted 2.4% in 2020 resulting in high unemployment. Here is some information about the situation in Israel along with the efforts that some are initiating to eliminate poverty in Israel.
A History of Poverty
Before the pandemic began, Israel already had a history with its inhabitants living in poverty. At least 1.8 million people were living under the poverty line in 2018, with 841,000 of those people being children. Poverty among the elderly also increased from a staggering 17.2% to 18.8% in 2017. The standard of living has dipped significantly as well. The need for financial aid rose up to 70% in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The beginning of 2021 promised some growth in the economy. In December 2020, Israel began its vaccination inoculation drive, hoping to vaccinate 60,000 people a day to combat the coronavirus.
The Road to Recovery
With the Israeli economy reopening and most of its people having received the COVID-19 vaccine, there have been about 400 infections, the lowest since June 2020, marking a three-month low. About 4.7 million people received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine. With most of its vulnerable population vaccinated, Israel started to emerge from its third national lockdown in February 2021.
While its economy is still starting to recover from the current lockdowns and it is slowly starting to ease restrictions, most of the middle class plunged into poverty due to the effects of the pandemic. With the surge of poverty in Israel, hope exists for those who are suffering from the pandemic’s catastrophic effects. Various groups and organizations have implemented solutions to help impoverished communities in Israel.
Israeli is using technology to help it solve its economic crisis. The IMPROVATE Innovative conference occurred in early 2021 in which Israeli innovation and technology companies met and discussed how their companies would assist in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis. The IMPROVATE Innovative launched in September 2020 to connect world leaders in the advancement of global progress. With the meetings taking place, it seems that technological advancements will play a role in helping to reshape Israel after its economic crisis.
Making a Change for the Better
An OECD Economic Survey of Israel from 2020 has identified solutions that can help eliminate poverty in Israel. Measures and reforms in the survey included upgrading infrastructure, improving educational outcomes, supporting the poor, simplifying taxes, reducing economic distortions and reducing health risks by improving the environment.
Nonprofit organizations have also stepped in to help with the economic disaster. One of the leading NGOs in the country, Latet, believes the Israeli government should be doing more to combat inequality and access to resources in Israel. Fortunately, other nonprofits exist that are aiding in the battle against poverty and are instrumental in helping Israel recover.
While COVID-19 put the people of Israel in poverty, millions received vaccinations and the economy is slowly reopening. Technology groups and NGOs are willing to put in the effort to help during the COVID-19 aftermath, aiding in efforts to eliminate poverty in Israel and improve its economy.
– Jose Ahumada