Wednesday, December 27

More than 30% of Israel's children live below the poverty line, but there might be a new welfare minister some time soon

Y. aged 10, needs medicine for his heart problem, but his mother doesn't always have the money to buy it, so often towards the end of the month, when there are still a few days to go before the social security payment comes in, she halves his pills, to make them "last longer". She is aware of the danger, but not eating is problematic as well.
The water has been cut off.
So has the electricity.
But these are mere technical problems, overcome with a little help of the neighbors. Not legal, ofcourse, but at least the family can warm the house and take a hot shower.

The family is in danger of eviction from their home. It's rented on the private market and Y's mother receives some help with her rent. but it simply is not enough. So the rent has not been paid for some months now and the landlord is loosing his patience and becoming quite unpleasant.
The children visited Jerusalem, once, on a school trip, but many years now, they have been refused participation, as their mother cannot afford to pay for the trip. She by herself has never been to Jerusalem, she's hardly ever left Jaffa, in fact. Her children are good students, but it's difficult to pay attention when you are hungry. And hungry they are, quite often. They have been given tickets to go to a free soupkitchen (well almost free, that is, the food costs a small symbolic fee), but it takes 2 buses to go there, so it's simply too expensive.

That's what poverty means.
You get it? More than 30 % of Israel's children live below the poverty line. That's one out of every three.
In Jaffa these numbers are higher, especially amongst the weaker populations: one parent families headed by women, many of them new immigrants, large Arab families, families suffering from long term unemployment.
It's the children who pay the highest price for poverty.

There has not been a welfare minister for about 2 years now. They say the current minister, Herzog, of tourism may be appointed. No one seems to care very much.
The welfare budget is cut again and again and even then not all is used so towards the end of the year the unused funds go back to the treasurer. Who cares, it's just the kids who suffer, and the weakenend people, and THEY don't vote, they don't really count, they are not really seen, the see-through people of Jaffa

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