MADRID (AP) -- The Catholic Church charity organization Caritas says there are now 3 million people living in severe poverty in Spain, double the figure of 2008 when the country's economic crisis began.
Caritas said in its 2012 report released Thursday that it had aided 1.3 million people last year, almost three times the number it helped four years before, when the country's real estate sector collapsed.
Caritas secretary general Sebastian Mora said the poverty level and the earnings gap were increasing dramatically in Spain.
The organization defines those with monthly incomes of less than 307 euros ($415) as living in severe poverty.
Spain, with a population of 47 million, has spent most of the past four years in recession and now has 26.3 percent unemployment rate.