More than 33,000 people in extreme poverty in the Spanish Balearic Islands due to the COVID-19 crisis

A STUDY has revealed that more than 33,000 people suffer from extreme poverty in the Balearic Islands due to the coronavirus crisis.

The grim conclusions were made by the Balearic Social Observatory in collaboration with CaixaBank and the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The report found that the pandemic has increased poverty and exclusion exponentially and aggravated pre-existing cases of vulnerability.

This assertion can be supported by the sudden growth in demand for assistance to cover basic needs in the social services system since the imposition of the state of alarm.

In addition, the region’s heavy reliance on tourism, which has suffered greatly this summer, has left thousands of people without work or money to cover basic needs such as food or rent.

The Balearic Islands have also suffered from the highest unemployment rate in the country with the highest number of jobs lost in the hospitality sector.

The nationwide lockdown also highlighted the level of inequality in the Balearic Islands compared to the rest of the country as 22.3% of the population did not have access to a computer at that time.

“It plays an important role in a person’s basic right to life as it enables access to public information and basic resources,” the study explains.

Mental health has also deteriorated since the start of the pandemic with an increase in cases of anxiety, stress and insomnia in medical centres.

This results in increased consumption of anxiolytics, a drug prescribed to treat anxiety disorders.

It comes as more than 35,000 jobs have been cut across the Balearic Islands since March.

The grim analysis was released by Spanish bank BBVA and predicts that a considerable number of people will not find alternative work, thus increasing the region’s unemployment rate.

This figure is expected to stand at 17.3% by the second quarter of 2021, an increase of more than 5% compared to the same period in 2020.

The analysis also indicated that those under 35 have suffered the most from job loss this year.