Sun. Mar 29th, 2020

#QudateEnCasa, what if you don’t have? The most vulnerable in times of coronavirus – La Provincia


# QuédateEnCasa and #I stay at home have been the main hashtags since the crisis of the coronavirus In our country. From the beginning the call has been to stay home, but what about those who don’t have? Where do they stay?

Only in Madrid there is almost 2,800 homeless, according to data from the 2019 report coordinated by the Samur Social and organized by the City Council with different NGOs. Faced with the crisis caused by the coronavirus, an emergency shelter with initial capacity for 150 homeless people has been set up in Madrid, at the same time as the cold season has been prolonged until May, a measure that seems to be hiding behind the veil COVID-19 and not because of weather.

Measures for the most vulnerable

The Government has launched measures to help the most vulnerable people. What does it consist on? 600 million euros have been allocated for social services for vulnerable families, the elderly and dependents being the main beneficiaries. A positive measure, but one that the EAPN (European Network for the Fight against Poverty and Social Exclusion) considers insufficient, as he made it known in a note last week.

In addition, the social bond has been expanded and housing alternatives have been offered during the coronavirus crisis to people living on the street. So much so that Ifema, the fairground of Madrid, has become both a hospital facility and an emergency shelter with a capacity initially for 150 homeless people, then capacity will be expanded.

On the other hand, the Minister council yesterday approved the distribution of the extraordinary social fund, with 25 million euros, among the autonomous communities to help feed minors – both direct financial aid and food distribution – in vulnerable situations. To this is added the approval of a social fund of 300 million euros for the social care of vulnerable groups, aimed above all at the care of the homeless and home care for the elderly, support for care and conciliation, guaranteeing income for families and reinforce templates and PPE in residences and social service centers.

Despite the efforts to alleviate this coronavirus crisis in the most vulnerable families, EAPN demands the protection of the 12 million people at risk of poverty or exclusion, “a figure that can skyrocket if broader, more extensive, comprehensive and more budgetary protection measures are not applied,” they affirm from the Network.

Among the new measures announced last Sunday by the Government is also to be facilitated resources to the municipalities to distribute food or medicine to older people so they don’t leave home.

Authorities and administrations apparently focus on the most vulnerable. Even the former Minister of Economy and Vice President of the European Central Bank, Luis de Guindos, defended in an interview in La Sexta a “minimum emergency income” during the coronavirus crisis last Sunday.

For its part, Save The Children has started the emergency intervention program ‘A tu lado’, whose main objective is to give families in vulnerable situations with children access to basic food, psychosocial care and the possibility of continuing with their education, as many of them lack the Internet to access online classes.

Social bond, expanded

Around 1.3 million households currently have access to the social voucher and all those that have to be renewed will be automatically extended until September 15.

Furthermore, the Economic Shock Plan approved by the Council of Ministers includes measures such as protection of light, energy and gas supplies. All of this is aimed at vulnerable, severely vulnerable consumers or those at risk of social exclusion for a month and renewable.

With these measures, the Government intends to guarantee these supplies to all households, especially those who are in a vulnerable situation, and to those who may have problems derived from the crisis caused by COVID-19.

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