Poverty in Iceland, 860 families need help this Christmas in the capital area

Eight hundred and sixty families have applied for aid in December from the Family-help organization in Reykjavik and the town of Reykjanes this year. Asgerdur Jona Flosadottir chairwoman of the organization said that the situation for those who are under the poverty limit is far worse than Icelanders as a society realize. In total the number of people in need of assistance are around 2400 and many hundreds of them are children. “The need is much greater than we know and news of an upswing in the economy and about the heydays being over are not in consistency with the reality we are seeing here” Flosadottir told reporter of RUV. Inequality in the society is growing and the majority of the people seeking help are the elderly, the disabled and single parents. “There is one group we particularly notice, and those are people that had a bad turn in the 2008 financial crash. These people lost their property, lost their jobs and were unemployed for some time. Many lost their vitality and will as a consequence and this impacts their health and mental health heavily” she informed. These people are now renting flats on very expensive rates, as the rent prices have surged with the tourist bomb. Flosadottir went on to say that many have to live extremely sparingly and don’t have enough for even the barest necessities. “Many people come here crying, some don’t ever come because of pride, and suffer anxiety and depression. These steps are very heavy for many people”

The Family help organization also provides Christmas presents for children of all ages. This year, parents will be able to choose the presents for their children. The Christmas hand-outs will take place throughout next week so the likelihood of those numbers rising is considerable. “We hope we are able to help all those people, and we will, If we don’t have enough we will order more and make some arrangements so that we can provide necessities to everyone and we will not turn anyone away” She concluded. Kvennabladid news outlet picket up on the report from RUV and speculated that the group of people that are under stress because of the Christmas time is far greater. The people that find their way to the Family help organization is a fraction of the people that have fallen on hardships since the crash. The number of people that take an extra overdraft, over use their visa card or otherwise borrow money to be able to celebrate Christmas with their children is huge as well.