People waiting in line at Càritas, Palma. recent photo. | Ultima Hora

The coronavirus pandemic devastated many, many families in the Balearic Islands, who were forced to turn to charities in order to survive after they were furloughed and huge numbers of temporary and illegal workers were left completely helpless.

5,600 of the 11,355 people who sought help from Càritas Mallorca in 2020 did so for the first time ever in their lives.

Demand rose by 30% compared to 2019, forcing Càritas to cope with an extra 2,568 people. More than half of those who needed help were women; 40% had a partner and children and 14% lived alone.

According to the Càritas 2020 report, 7 out of every 10 people who requested financial aid were from outside the European Union; 4,474 were in an irregular situation and 70% asked for money for rent and supplies. 2,049 housing grants were issued in 2020, three times more than the year before.

Càritas had a budget of 5.2 million euros last year and most of that was used for housing aid and basic needs.

Collaboration between the 48 parishes was key, as was the financial aid and donations from public entities, individuals and partners, which increased considerably.

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Revenues rose from 3.2 million euros in 2019 to 5.4 million euros in 2020.