Food packages for the needy
Food packages for the needyIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work in the realm of food aid held an emergency conference Wednesday over what they termed, “The Welfare Ministry’s – and the Israeli government’s – refusal to take responsibility for the problem.”

NGO heads said there has been de-legitimization of their work. “The unstable political reality and the acute need ‘on the ground’” create a need to “put the issue of food security in the center of public discourse, immediately,” they argued.

The focus was on urging government responsibility for ensuring food security. Currently the government helps to fund NGOs that provide food, but has yet to institute suggestions that would make the Welfare Ministry directly responsible for fighting malnutrition and hunger.

The NGOs issued a list of demands:

  1. A full implementation of the Izikowitz committee’s suggestions.
  2. NIS 250 million for guaranteeing food security in the 2013 budget.
  3. A declaration of responsibility from the Welfare Minister, backed by the Prime Minister.
  4. A declaration that the government will take full responsibility for food security within 3 years.

On May 28 the NGO heads plan to meet with Welfare Minister Moshe Cachlon and present him with their demands.

They called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to work with NGOs in formulating a food security policy. NGOs have decades of experience and understand the needs involved, they said.

Welfare Minister Moshe Kachlon and NGOs giving food have clashed in the past over different approaches to food aid.