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  • Italian Red Cross receives fish to aid to people in difficulty, Civitavecchia, Italy, April 23, 2020.

    Italian Red Cross receives fish to aid to people in difficulty, Civitavecchia, Italy, April 23, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 24 April 2020

The highest levels of impoverishment occur in southern Italy, particularly in Calabria, Sicily, Lazio, and Lombardy.

The National Confederation of Direct Farmers (Coldiretti) reported that one million Italians have fallen into poverty and need urgent food aid due to the pandemic's consequences.

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People who require food aid include those who lost their jobs, those who cannot work from home, people who do not have access to public aid or personal savings, people who do temporary jobs, small merchants, and artisans.

To make these estimates, Coldiretti took into account that organizations such as Caritas and the Food Bank have received an additional 40 percent of aid requests over the past two months.

To respond to the growing demand for emergency aid, some 200 Italian charities have set up almost 10,000 food distribution centers and soup kitchens.

"Parents, who do not know how to feed their children and are ashamed to be in poverty for the first time, make requests for support through phone calls," Coldiretti explained, adding that "the number of Italians who need food aid to survive reached 3.7 million people."

The greatest poverty-related problems are in southern Italy, particularly in the Campania region where there is a 20 percent increase in poverty, followed by Calabria (14 percent), Sicily (11 percent), Lazio (10 percent), and Lombardy (9 percent).

Currently, 39 percent of Italians take part in solidarity initiatives to help those in need through donations or food packages, Coldiritti holds.​​​​​​​

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