UNICEF: Israel Has 4th Highest Child Poverty in West

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Israel has the fourth highest proportion of children living in poverty, according to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) published yesterday. The report states that 35.6% of Israeli children live in poverty, a lower proportion than in Spain (36.3%), Latvia (38.2%), and Greece (40.5%). The organization lists the cuts in child allowances as one of the reasons for the high poverty rate in Israel.

The report notes that children of single-parent families are in the worst situation, while the rate of poverty among children in two-parent families fell slightly over the past five years.

The report says that the already high poverty rate among children in Israel rose by only 0.55% during the economic crisis.

The UNICEF study examined the effects of the 2008 economic crisis on children in the Western world. According to the report, 76.5 million children live in poverty in the 41 developed countries checked. The study found that Israel actually improved in one area during the economic crisis – unemployment in the 15-24 age bracket fell by 1% in 2008-2013.

UNICEF Israel executive director Jonny Cline said, “As long as the global economy remains unstable, there is a risk of further deterioration if we do not make children our top priority. We have to focus on children in order to achieve a long-term change, even at the expense of inconvenience in the short term. At UNICEF, we are working with the government on the establishment of a children’s rights commission, as required under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.”

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