Israel: 42.4% of Palestinian families are experiencing food insecurity

Middle East Monitor  /  January 17, 2023

522,000 families in Israel live in a state of food insecurity, including 265,000 families living in a state of severe food insecurity. These families consist of 976,000 people, including 665,000 minors, according to a report on the food security situation in Israel issued by the National Insurance Institute of Israel (NII) on Tuesday.

The NII noted that the survey includ

ed in the report was conducted in the first half of the year 2021, and before the cessation of unemployment benefits that were granted to most of the unemployed individuals and workers who were put on unpaid leave due to the global pandemic in 2020. The report stated that “the data indicate that in 2021, the year in which corona health and economic crisis that began in March 2020 continued, the level of food security of the population increased.”

The report shows that the level of food security in Palestinian society increased from 56.8 per cent in 2016 to 57.6 per cent in 2021, which means that 42.4 per cent of Palestinian families are experiencing food insecurity. This is three times higher than the general rate. In contrast, approximately 11 per cent of Jews live in food insecurity.

The report added that “about 16 per cent of families and about 21 per cent of minors live in continuous food insecurity and are concentrated mainly among the population in the regions of Jerusalem, the north and the south. Also, food insecurity is mainly concentrated in the Palestinian community and among those who receive living allowances, such as income security benefits and disability benefits.”

Head of the National Committee for Food Security, Roni Strier, said “There is an improvement, but it is very small. There are still half a million families living in food insecurity, and half of them are in severe food insecurity. When I say severe food insecurity, it means not having meals and 320,000 minors arrive at school hungry.”

Yarona Shalom, Acting Director General of the National Insurance Institute, said, “The food insecurity report is consistent with the poverty report. We see that the situation of poor families who failed to put food on the table in the past usually remains the same, and this is not acceptable in a developed country. We believe that this report is a political tool to advance legislation, raise benefits, and facilitate standards for obtaining living allowances.”