Although Italy’s lockdown officially ended on May 18, many restrictions remain,and the economic impact will be long lasting. After the health emergency, hundreds of thousands of Italians are unable to pay for their own food.
Banco Alimentare, the Food Bank in Italy, started getting food demand from middle-class Italians. “We are talking about educated people, people who are able to track us down on the internet” says Giovanni Bruno, head of Banco Alimentare.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, Banco Alimentare distributed food to around 1.5 million people in Italy. The number has risen by roughly 40% in just over two months. The Food Bank can’t keep up with the new requests, particularly in Italy’s traditionally poorer southern regions such as Campania.
“Many people think this will just be a problem this month or next month. They don’t understand it’s a long-term problem” said Roberto Tuorto, who runs Banco Alimentare’s operations in Campania.
Th coronavirus crisis is hitting Italy after 10 years of constant decline: the country never fully recovered from the 2008 global financial crisis and the eurozone debt crisis that soon followed in 2010-12. the number of people living in absolute poverty has increased since the financial crisis and is expected to rise much more rapidly now. According to the Italian trade union UGL, the number of people living in poverty could go from 5 million in 2018 to above 9 million over the next few months. So far, around 12 million workers have applied for relief payments from the Italian government. This is more than half the country’s overall workforce.
Source: Wall Street Journal. Read the original news here.