The BBC recently quoted Italy’s National Institute for Statistics (ISTAT) as stating that 4.6 million people in Italy were now unable to afford goods and services "essential to avoid grave forms of social exclusion". Poverty levels are now at their highest point since records were first compiled in 2005. In the less-developed south, 10% of people live in absolute poverty.

 

Over a million Italians are unable to pay for basic necessities

Italian media said some of the change could be attributed to migrant families, almost a third of whom live in absolute poverty - more than 153,000 migrants arrived in Italy last year. The number of people who are living in poverty in Italy has doubled since 2012. Over a million Italians are unable to afford to eat meat or pay for basic necessities such as heating for their houses. It is estimated that poverty in Italy is more acute than it has ever been within the last 16 years.

 

12% of families in Italy are considered as poor by official authorities

Relative poverty is defined as a family of two members living on a monthly salary of 991 euros or less. This applies to around 12% of families in Italy. About 8% of the Italian population is living in total poverty, i.e. below the minimum acceptable standard of living.

 

Longest recession since WWII

“It is a reminder, if one were needed, of the severity and scale of Italy’s recession, the longest since the Second World War. Italy may be the comeback kid of the global sovereign debt markets, but its economy does not look as though it will ever come back – and it was not even strong to start,” said Nicholas Spiro, head of Spiro Sovereign Strategy about ISTAT’s report.

 

40% youth unemployment

The recession is taking a massive toll, currently plunging approximately 40 percent of Italian youth into unemployment. One third of people aged 15-29 are either without education or without a job. And only 58% of those who have graduated from college are able to find jobs out of school. This is far below the average of 77.2% for Europe as a whole.

 

Economic gap between the North and the South

According to INSTAT, poverty in Southern Italy especially has increased by a massive 90% over the past five years, a clear indicator of the economic gap between Northern and Southern Italy. 16.6% of families living in poverty in Italy are not receiving sufficient nutrients.

 

Soup kitchen for the poor

The NGO Catherine Onlus Association helps precisely where help is needed. The
organization was formed in 2006 and since then has cared for the very poorest section of society in the southern Italian province of Salerno. On 12 April 2011, its "soup kitchen" was inaugurated. This 400 m2 property was entirely financed by volunteers and donors.

 

A new medical center and support

The cafeteria building provides an additional approx. 300m2 of space where "Association Caterina" wishes to tackle some of the most serious difficulties of the poor population. Thus the building also houses modern medical zones that are available to the most vulnerable, such as pregnant women, children, immigrants and elderly people in economic difficulties, giving them access to a basic right: health care.

 

Health service by medical volunteers

The medical volunteers who have joined the project will provide a permanent health service that will give many families access to health care. Trained physicians will provide pediatric, gynecological and general medical care. The gynecology department looks after expectant mothers and babies, while general
practitioners will provide assistance to other patients.

 

Sika Italy provides hot meals, medical equipment and Sikafloor® systems

Sika Italy will provide hot meals throughout 2016 and medical equipment to support its day-to-day activities. Moreover, Sika is installing Sikafloor® systems as a hygienic, durable and environmentally compatible solution for the medical facilities’ floors.

 

Read more about the NGO Caterina Onlus

Go for Sika Italy