Israel has a poverty rate of 21 percent, the highest among all OECD countries, a report by the economic development organization revealed Wednesday.
The report, aimed at investigating the impact of the global financial crisis on developing countries, also found that the gap between the rich and the poor was very high in Israel, with only Chile, Turkey, Mexico and the United States exhibiting a higher gap.
Iceland, Slovenia, Norway and Denmark were found to have the lowest rate of income inequality among the 34 OECD member countries. Israel joined the OECD in 2010.
“These worrying findings underline the need to protect the most vulnerable in society, especially as governments pursue the necessary task of bringing public spending under control,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría in response to the findings.
“Policies to boost jobs and growth must be designed to ensure fairness, efficiency and inclusiveness. Among these policies, reforming tax systems is essential to ensure that everyone pays their fair share and also benefits and receives the support they need.”
However, Israel was found to have had a low increase in child poverty since 2007 compared to other OECD states, such as Turkey, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia and Hungary.