A new political party called “Ma’an” is focused on helping the Arab elderly population in Israel. The group, whose name means “toward a new age,” launched their campaign on Saturday.
Out of the 91,000 elderly Arabs who live in Israel, 60%, or about 54,000 of them, live in poverty and 31% (approximately 28,000) have a pension-based income. Some 40% of them receive support from civil services, and a whopping 15,470 of the elderly — 17% — live alone with no support from family or friends.
Additionally, many report that they cannot afford to purchase their necessary medications on a regular basis. Some 14,560 of them — 16% — say they have no one to trust under the current circumstances.
The number of elderly Arabs is expected to double by 2045, and the party wishes to preempt that crisis by presenting a plan that will attempt to remedy some of these issues. Chief among the proposals is an increase in financial planning, monetary support and medical assistance to the elderly.
Half of the elderly reported feeling lonely. Some 80% — 78,800 — suffer from a chronic illness.
The party also put forward plans to assist the elderly in retirement and social activities, as well as educational programs to help connect the younger generation with the elderly people from a young age, focusing on strengthening cultural and religious values of respecting the elderly, and of community.
Early in January, a social impact bond (SIB) had been opened to crowdfunding to help reduce elderly loneliness in Tel Aviv.
Social impact bonds are partnerships aimed at improving social services for specific groups. While these bonds are usually funded by large investors, Social Finance Israel, in collaboration with the Tel Aviv Foundation, decided to open this investment to crowdfunding through the Fundit platform.