Caritas Spain has urged the Spanish Government to consider the "sinister concrete implications" of the country's economic crisis after reporting a tripling in the number of people needing its help.
In a report released last week, the agency highlighted the loss of jobs, a fall in household earnings and a weakening in social support. Caritas says that since the economic crisis began in Spain, the number of people it has helped has risen from 370,251 in 2007 to 1,015,267 in 2011 - an increase of almost 274 per cent.
Poverty shows signs of changing "from a short-term to a long-term problem", warned Caritas Spain spokeswoman Ana Girao.
Ms Girao thanked Catholic dioceses for distributing money, food and clothing. Half of those requesting aid have been immigrants.
Above: Uchenna Okafor, who is unemployed, at a foodbank in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia. Photo: CNS photo/Heino Kalis, Reuters