Before the Corona epidemic crisis, 45.3% of families in Arab society lived below the poverty line. The mass dismissals and putting workers on unpaid leave have seriously damaged their standard of living, particularly of vulnerable families. According to estimates by the National Insurance Institute, more than 13,000 families have fallen into poverty as a result of the corona crisis, and the percentage of poor families has risen to 48.9% by mid-May. Another 9,000 families remained above the poverty line only as a result of the government’s intervention to reduce the crisis, which included the disbursement of an increase in unemployment benefits for workers who were taken on unpaid leave, and the disbursement of grants for the elderly and one-time grants only for children and recipients of benefits. Without these grants, especially unemployment benefits for those who have been taken on unpaid leave, the percentage of poor families would have risen to 51.2%.

For comparison, the percentage of poor households among Jews rose from 13.4% before the crisis to 14.4% by mid-May, and would have risen to 15.3% had it not been for the state’s intervention.

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