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Poverty: Caritas, almost 200,000 people turned to counselling centres for help, more men than women

In 2017, 197,332 people turned to Caritas counselling centres for help. This is according to “Povertà in attesa. Rapporto Caritas italiana 2018 su povertà e politiche di contrasto”, the 2018 Report by Caritas Italy on poverty and anti-poverty policies, which was presented at the “Con il Sud” Foundation in Rome today. The Report provides an analysis and assessment of the 1,982 facilities located in 185 dioceses. According to the latest figures from August 2018, there are currently 3,366 counselling centres of different types (parish, local/vicariate and diocesan) in Italy. In 2017, 42.2% of the people assisted were Italian nationals while 57.8% were foreigners. Those who asked for counselling were mostly foreigners in Northern and Central Italy (64.5% and 63.4% respectively) whereas in Southern Italy, it was mostly Italians who benefited from counselling services (67.6%). The majority of the foreigners were from Morocco (18.1%) and Romania (12%). In general, the trend shows a decrease in the number of foreigners from Eastern Europe and an increase in Africans. The changing patterns of migration (coupled with a higher unemployment rate among males than females) may be due to the fact that there are now more men than women who turn to counselling centres for help, after almost two decades of women’s predominance. Over 13,000 foreigners (11.9%) were refugees or asylum seekers, mainly from Sudan (14.7%), Nigeria (11.3%), and Eritrea (9.4%). The percentage of foreigners with residence permit was quite high (74.5%), but the high number of non-responses might hide a larger number of irregular migrants, which is on the rise in some areas. Indeed, this might be case of migrants in an irregular situation who were once “regular” or those whose application for international protection has been rejected.

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