A social lender set up to help low-income Israelis is offering interest-free “lifelines” to those impacted by the 7 October attacks.
Ogen, formerly known as the Israel Free Loan Association (IFLA), launched its Swords of Iron Emergency Economic Relief Fund for individuals, non-profits, and small companies hit by the war. It aims to raise almost £30m and to help 30,000 people.
Organisers said there would be interest-free £12,000 loans offered to around 1,000 individuals or families, and £20,000 loans made available to around 430 small businesses and non-profits.
Sagi Balasha, chief executive of Ogen, said it would give “swift and tailored support to those affected by the ongoing crisis and economic challenges, particularly as we observe a sluggish response from the government”.
The loans would provide immediate assistance to those grappling with the aftermath of the crisis, said Ogen, adding that small businesses account for almost a half of Israel’s workforce.
“As Israel transitions from the initial triage support in response to the attacks, it’s crucial to recognise that Israel is likely heading into a financial recession,” it said.
The fund was “therefore an urgent response to prevent individuals and businesses from falling off the precipice”.
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