Ahead of International Children’s Day observed on June 1, 2013, Welfare Minister (Yesh Atid) Meir Cohen announced there is a need to reflect on the nation’s civil and social future and to examine the declining position of children in Israel.
According to Bituach Leumi, 46% of Israel’s poor are children and based on last year’s numbers, that amounts to over 860,000. The minister explains one out of every three children is poor. Cohen blames the sharp cuts made by Finance Minister Yair Lapid for a worsening situation and hopes his office will be able to work to assist the growing number of children in need.
According to the ministry’s figures, it is proven that out of 2.5 million children, 450,000 are ‘at risk’ at different levels. Cohen’s office has increased budgetary allocations to assist these children, allocating an additional 5 million NIS for the fund to assist at risk youths.
Cohen next month hopes to present his nutrition plan which focuses on these children in part, stating this program carries a 200 million NIS price tag.
He stresses that his office is focused first and foremost on the children and their issues “which overwhelm us” he added.
He warns that failure to act appropriately to assist the children will lead to a disastrous situation in the future.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)