UNICEF child welfare report finds Israel among worst in developed world
Source: The Times of Israel
By Stuart Winer
One in three children is considered poor in the Jewish state, says UN agency
Illustrative photo of Israeli school children, August 27, 2013. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
The UN’s child welfare agency said Israel has one of the worst records on child poverty in the world.
UNICEF’s Innocenti Report Card 14 on children in the developed world, released Thursday, ranked 41 European countries and members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD.
On a chart for country performance on nine child-welfare relevant goals Israel ranked 36 out of 37, above only Romania.
Chile, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Turkey, although reviewed in the report did not rank due on the chart due to insufficient data, the report said. Norway topped the table followed by Finland.
The report also ranked efforts at reducing economic inequality, putting Israel at 39th place, above only Bulgaria and Mexico.
“Israel and Romania have the worst records on relative poverty – here more than one child in three is considered poor,” the report said, referring to the percentage of households that earn less than 60 percent of the national median.
“Living in poverty during childhood can do lifelong damage, with proven effects on health, nutrition, brain development and educational attainment. These effects can evolve into large earnings differences in adulthood.”
“However,” the report noted, “Bulgaria, Mexico, Spain, Turkey and the United States also have child poverty rates substantially above the rich-world average.”
According to report, one in three children in Israel (36.1%) lives in poverty compared to one in ten in countries such as Denmark, Iceland and Norway. The average for developed countries is one in five, the report said.
There were however, some positives.
Israel scored better on efforts to reduce hunger to zero, ranking 13th on the list, and 7th on a ranking of “good health and well-being.”
Some 7.4% of Israeli children below the age of 15 are considered food insecure, defined as a “lack of secure access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that can ensure normal growth and development, as well as an active and healthy lifestyle.” That compared to the average among developed countries of 12.7% for the same age group.
At the other end of the food scale, obesity among 11-15 year-olds in Israel (14.3%) is below the international average of 15.2%.
The Social Welfare Ministry did not immediately comment on the findings of the report.
A December 2016 National Insurance Institute’s annual report on poverty found that a poor person in 2015 — the year covered by the report — was defined as one living on a monthly income of less than NIS 3,158 ($823). A poor family of four had less than NIS 8,086 ($2,107) to live on, a family of eight under NIS 13,139 ($3,423).
While only around 14% of Jews are poor, more than half of Arabs fall below the poverty line, the NII report found.
Sue Surkes contributed to this report.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SHARE YOUR OPINION, POST A COMMENT
Fill in the field below to share your opinion and post your comment.
LATEST OPEN LETTERS
- 03-07Letter of Apology
- 20-05Sace palestine
- 20-05Free Palestine
- 17-05A suggestion for some economics problems
- 15-05Free Palestine
- 04-04A moment of the sound of silence, a prayer for Russia
- 03-04The Gilbratar burn out and how it can be solved peacefully
- 03-04Biafra Freedom from Nigeria
- 24-03Open letter to António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
- 20-03RE: FINDING BEACONS OF HOPE … MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN SYRIA
VIRTUAL POST OFFICE
Latest Blog Articles
- 12-04Former Israeli Diplomat Endorses Two-State Solution at Hillel
- 12-04From Land Day to the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, Palestinians have plenty to protest
- 11-04Christian evangelicals from the US flock to Holy Land in Israeli tourism boom
- 04-04A week of unbearable heartbreak in Israel-Palestine
- 04-04If our Jersey sisterhood of Jews, Muslims can bond, so can the world | Opinion
- 04-04Israel faces historic decision as new population figures emerge
- 04-04Geraldo Rivera regrets not backing Palestinians in Second Intifada
- 02-04Where is Palestine's Gandhi? Marching in Gaza
- 30-03Palestine Land Day: A day to resist and remember
- 29-03Palestinians are the majority. Is it apartheid yet?
- 29-03Older Jews are officially terrified of young Jews’ views of Israel