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Spain’s Failure to Protect Rights Amid Rising Poverty | Human Right Watch



Food insecurity and poverty are enduring problems in Spain. Just over a decade ago, the 2008 global financial crisis sharply exacerbated both food insecurity and poverty. And just as people’s living standards seemed to improve, the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impact have made both poverty and food insecurity worse once more.

At the start of the pandemic, the Spanish government expanded existing unemployment support programs and introduced a new flagship social assistance program. However, despite the government’s stated good intentions, existing weaknesses and flaws in the social security system, as well as problems in the design of new forms of assistance, meant that support fell short of what was needed. Limitations on the scope and eligibility of both existing and new measures have meant that many people still depend on non-governmental food aid to feed themselves and their families, and struggle to meet their basic needs. As a result, Spain’s government is failing its obligations to protect and fulfil people’s rights to food and an adequate standard of living.

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