Cáritas has warned of the social consequences that the pandemic has left on Spanish society in its annual report for 2021. In it, it has pointed to the lack of employment in the country as the “main cause of social exclusion”. He has also indicated that the war in Ukraine and the consequent inflation has been another of the factors that “have affected and accentuated inequalities in Spain, where there has been an increase in levels of precariousness.”
For a family of two adults and two children who earn 800 euros per month, the general secretary, Natalia Peiro, has said that the 9% rise in the CPI would mean an additional 72 euros of spending per month, “an amount that makes it difficult for them to cover the rent, electricity, gas or filling the fridge” and, in addition, has described the inflation figure for May 2022, as “a jug of cold water for the economic and social forecasts of Spain that overwhelm the vulnerable people”.
Peiro has also pointed out that in the aid and assistance programs managed by Cáritas, 80% are related to the payment of energy supply or rents, and has said that this type of aid has increased by 14% compared to the previous year. From the NGO they have highlighted that housing is the second actor that has caused the greatest exclusion among the vulnerable population after the lack of employment, that is why they ask “not to abandon the social emergency response”.
In any case, the NGO has indicated that during 2021 they have reached a “record figure” of 403 million euros of the funds they use in the programs they launch, an amount that is 16.4 million euros more than the qeu they collected the previous year (4.07%) what they have indicated, “reflects the tsunami left by the pandemic”.
In addition, they have considered the year 2021 as a “turning point”, in which the 70 diocesan caritas attended 20% more people than in the health crisis, so that, despite the progressive reopening of the economy, have pointed out that “not all vulnerable people have managed to get out of social exclusion”.
Despite this, in the report for the year 2021, Caritas has reflected that, throughout 2021, the reopening of the economy helped to alleviate emergency situations. In the Shelter and Assistance program, 1,287,382 people were assisted, a figure 20% higher than those registered before the spread of Covid-19, when in 2019, 1,020,176 vulnerable people were assisted.
In addition, coinciding with the INE data on inequality, poverty and social exclusion that came out this morning, which shows that 27.8% of the Spanish population is at risk of poverty, the coordinator of the Study Team, Raúl Flores, has confirmed the veracity of the figures and wanted to point out that, indeed, as a result of the pandemic, inequality has increased by 25%, poverty has risen from 21% to almost 22% and the risk of exclusion social has increased from 27% to about 28%.
Regarding the position that Cáritas has adopted regarding the last jump over the Melilla fence, its general secretary has declared that they have been trying for four years to launch a political proposal in relation to the suppression of summary expulsions in the Law of Citizen Security, and who continue to work with various associations in the south of Spain, but has denounced that the episode “should not have a place at the gates of a country that has signed international treaties for the protection of human rights”.
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