According to figures from the aid organisation Red Cross, thousands of people up and down the country are living below the poverty line, relying on food banks and support to get by.
Thousands rely on Red Cross food banks every week
Those who were already struggling to get by only found their situation become more dire as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with Red Cross highlighting the fact that, every week, upwards of 19.000 people across the Netherlands don’t have the means to support themselves.
Figures show that single mothers, self-employed people, and low-income families have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, with thousands of vulnerable people being forced into a situation where they have to choose between buying food, paying rent, or buying other vital hygiene products.
“Vulnerable people often have no money for essential care products, such as sanitary towels, incontinence products, diapers, toothpaste or detergents,” explains Red Cross chief Marieke van Schaik. “If people cannot take good care of themselves and their household, it often makes it more difficult for them to get out of their predicament.”
Coronavirus crisis continues to affect thousands in the Netherlands
The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdowns left thousands without jobs or a regular income, and while the lifting of the majority of restrictions has opened up more opportunities for work in certain sectors, others continue to struggle and fall further into debt.
Various sectors have struggled throughout the pandemic, but one industry that has been particularly badly affected is the taxi industry, with one driver who works in the Amsterdam and Amstelveen areas telling the AD that they regularly have only one or two fares a night: “The whole world is pretending that coronavirus is almost over, but nothing has changed for me yet.”