Coronavirus in Tel Aviv: The Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo’s Emergency Relief Fund:
Immediately assisting communities and individuals most severely affected by the Coronavirus crisis
A partnership between Israeli and international donors, with dollar-to-dollar matching by the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo
The emergency fund is a financial tool of the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, used in a time of crisis. It provides an immediate efficient response and strengthens the city’s resilience.
Emergency fund towards assisting the most challenged and vulnerable communities in Tel Aviv-Yafo during the Coronavirus crisis. The Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo’s Emergency Fund allocates immediate assistance in the forms of Vouchers and Volunteer Workforce, as specified on THE NEED page.
The fund will expand the Municipality’s ability to reach and support the most affected by this crisis, ensure that those in need are given the proper care and that they are following the Health Administration’s guidelines to slow down this epidemic. The fund will allow the municipal social services administration the tools needed to offer immediate support in the form of food, medicine, emergency care, personal hygiene necessities, toys for children, elderly assistance and operating a volunteer workforce.
Tel Aviv’s Most Vulnerable Communities:
Asylum Seekers and Work Immigrants
Asylum Seekers and Work Immigrants comprise approximately 10% of the City’s population. This includes approximately 4,400 children of asylum-seekers, the majority of whom are aged 0-6.
The vast majority of this community lives paycheck to paycheck, works in the food service industry and lives in overpopulated houses.
The recent shutdown of the market has thrown this community into an urgent situation, leaving them with no income, food and health services. They are not eligible for Unemployment benefits or State support. They require immediate assistance, care and information in order to get them through this crisis and slow down the epidemic in their community.
Elderly Community: Senior Citizens and Holocaust Survivors – at very high risk
There are approximately 67,000 senior citizens currently living in Tel Aviv–Yafo, including over 15,000 Holocaust survivors, a significant proportion of who live at or below the poverty line. During this crisis, many of them have been disconnected from their families and are at very high risk if infected by the coronavirus.
Without the ability to go outside and due to the Health Administration’s recent guidelines, many elders are in need of food, medicine, supplies and medical support.
Welfare Families and At-Risk Populations
There are approximately 38,460 welfare families, known to and treated by a social worker, prior to the Coronavirus crisis. Most of the children in these welfare families are, on a daily basis, in regulated settings that include feeding (extended school days, daycares, etc.).
With the Education system closed, the children stay at home, and the household does not have the resources to provide the food they would eat for about 5 days a week within the educational system. Also, many of these children are in need of toys to substitute recreational activities necessary for their emotional development and wellbeing.
Jaffa and the Arab Community
The population in Jaffa is made up of 30% of the Arab sector, some 20,000 residents who are known to the local authority in Jaffa as low-socioeconomic families in need of assistance. A significant majority of this population is employed in hourly work or small business. In the wake of the Corona crisis, entire families find themselves in financial crisis without being able to purchase basic products.
The Relief Fund will facilitate distribution of vouchers in supermarkets and grocery stores located in the Jaffa area, so that residents do not go farther from home and use public transport to reach large, bustling chains.
Equally important – The distribution of the vouchers will create an opportunity to communicate with the Arab population, most of which is less connected to Israeli government directives and therefore does not follow.
Giving the vouchers will allow families to engage in dialogue, and an opportunity to better explain the situation and the importance of the Ministry of Health’s guidelines – to prevent the epidemic from spreading.
During this unprecedented crisis the entire urban ecosystem is hurting, small businesses that employ many of our immigrant community are closed or working in minimal capacity. These businesses are the heart of our ecosystem; when they shut down, they send home the entire staff. This means thousands of people living paycheck to paycheck have no means of sustaining themselves.
It is imperative that during this time we continue to support our small business, while adhering to the guidelines. This means shopping locally and safely and making sure that our businesses keep their doors open as long as possible.
To this end, we are proud to have partnered up with Colu, and launched a campaign towards incentivizing our residents to shop at our city’s local small businesses. Residents who shop locally can earn the digital Tel Aviv Coin.
Women at Risk (Domestic Violence and Prostitution)
Quarantine and Social isolation guidelines are particularly harsh on women without a circle of support: single parents, estranged women from their families (e.g. divorced Arab women), transgender women without family backup, and more.
About 23% of the families with children in the city of Tel Aviv Jaffa are single parents, who are having a difficult time feeding their children and keeping the household running without support.
In addition, ,in the wake of the outbreak of the Corona epidemic, following the guidelines from the Ministry of Health, families have been huddled in their homes for days, and there has been a significant increase in calls from women within domestic violence circle to police, women’s organizations and aid centers. These women suffer from violence within their homes, by their family members staying with them in the same home isolation, and they need assistance. There is a real need for information and access to sources.