Church agency sees poverty becoming chronic in capital of Cataluña

Photo: M. Minoccri/El País

• Cáritas sees 24% jump in people seeking assistance in 2015

• Year-on-year recurrence among six of every 10 people seeking aid

The Catholic church agency Cáritas in the Archdiocese of Barcelona says that while Spain’s recession may be ending, the “crisis” has not. Cáritas notes a 24 percent jump in direct assistance to help people cover their most basic needs. In the diocese of Barcelona alone, nearly 175,000 people were helped by Cáritas in 2014, representing a 7 percent increase over the previous year.

A study of poverty in the capital of Cataluña carried out by researchers for church agency claims that six of every 10 people who came to Cáritas seeking support during 2014 were repeat beneficiaries, suggesting that impoverishment in the greater Barcelona area is becoming chronic.

What’s more, while individuals and families in poorer neighborhoods of Barcelona were more likely in previous years to rely on Cáritas for support on a continual basis, the practice of recurring to the church agency year-after-year for support has now extended to virtually all parishes in all neighborhoods, including traditionally better-off areas, such as the district of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi.

Read full story in Spanish at El País >>