A survey requested by the Pisa Foundation to get the picture of the situation after the long phase of the Covid emergency. It is the 'Report on Economic and Social Hardship in the Pisa Territory,' which was presented at a press conference with the President of the Pisa Foundation, Stefano Del Corso; the Mayor of Pisa Michele Conti; the Director of the Institute of Management of the Sant'Anna School Andrea Piccaluga, author of the study; and the Full Professor of the Sant'Anna School Nicola Bellini, co-author of the study.
Prepared on behalf of the Pisa Foundation, the report was conducted from October 2022 with data collection to July 2023 results. It will be presented to the media, followed by an event with the presence of and representatives of institutions and actors involved in the territory in the management of critical situations, socially and economically. This is a time to share the results, so that the study can be a knowledge tool available to the territory.
The report takes into consideration data published by ISTAT, Caritas Italiana, Tuscany Region, ASviS, and is based on interviews conducted with a number of realities operating in the territory of the Municipality of Pisa. To constitute a specific database, 80 local realities were surveyed. The document provides an overview of the multi-dimensionality of poverty and the services offered in the area, confirming the need for a comprehensive view of the phenomenon of poverty, which presents interconnected manifestations, emphasizing the usefulness of collaboration among the many actors who generously and effectively work to prevent and combat social hardship in its various forms.
In Italy, ISTAT indicates an absolute poverty rate of 7.7 percent for 2020. In contrast, relative poverty in Italy as of the year 2020 stands at 19.9 percent. In Tuscany, absolute poverty rose from 3.2% to 3.3% between 2019 and 2020. Without support interventions in the pandemic phase, the absolute poverty rate would have increased from 3.2% to 5.9% (source: IRPET). The long-term impact of the pandemic saw the percentage of households reaching the end of the month with great difficulty rise from 2% to 10% between 2021 and 2022 (source: Tuscany Region).
IRPET reports that the relative poverty rate in the province of Pisa increased from 9.9 percent in 2019 to 12.8 percent in 2020, and absolute poverty rose from 3.8 percent to 4.7 percent. According to data from Caritas diocesan of Pisa, the number of people referred to Caritas increased by 22.4% between 2019 and 2021 (from 1524 to 1871 people). In addition, ISTAT reports that occupational poverty in the province of Pisa is 8.4% in the third quarter of 2022.
"The need to promote a study on poverty and hardship in Pisa came strongly and urgently to the Pisa Foundation following the two years of the Covid emergency," specifies Pisa Foundation President Stefano Del Corso, "that is, it seemed essential to understand more closely what impact the pandemic had had on the local area. After all, that the situation had changed was also intuited by the increased number of requests for help and support that have been addressed to us since 2020. The report that the Pisa Foundation asked the Institute of Management of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna to prepare, and which we are sharing today with the actors involved in the management of critical situations and in the presence of the Mayor of Pisa, we hope will be a useful knowledge tool for understanding the needs of the community with particular attention to its most fragile individuals. Indeed, the research has shown significant changes, an increase in economic poverty, an increase in the number of people employed in distressed conditions, and strong critical issues regarding the housing situation. The report is not limited to an analysis of the current state, also compared with the Tuscan and national scenario, but also tries to make suggestions for possible future interventions. By making it available to the community, the Pisa Foundation therefore hopes that it will provide a starting point for increasingly effective and timely actions."
According to Andrea Piccaluga, head of the research team at the Institute of Management of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna that conducted the study, "The Pisa area can become a laboratory where to intervene with intensity on some phenomena that are unfortunately growing, such as the educational poverty that afflicts many very young people, for whom it is also difficult to do inclusive activities, such as sports." According to Nicola Bellini, co-author of the research, "Much can be achieved by networking and enhancing the initiatives already in place, so as to allow targeted interventions on specific situations."
"The Report on Economic and Social Hardship in the Pisa Territory, commissioned by the Pisa Foundation and carried out by the Sant'Anna School, has the great merit," says Michele Conti, Mayor of Pisa, "of turning the spotlight on a phenomenon that we all have present, that we have seen grow in recent years, and that has now been photographed in all its sharpness. It is the task of the Municipality of Pisa and the entities in the area, together with the valuable world of the third sector, to put up a united front and put in place concrete responses to help the most fragile. As an administration, to give an example, in 2022 alone we granted 1.1 million euros as a rent supplement contribution to the benefit of nearly 1,000 families. For 2023 as the Municipality of Pisa we have doubled the available resources (524 thousand) but unfortunately we will not be able to rely on State resources and to a very limited extent on Regional ones. And this will exacerbate a problem that is becoming huge for many. It is time to go beyond analysis and start all together to select and design lasting and structural interventions to combat social and economic hardship."
The report can be read and downloaded HERE.
Cover Photo, from left: Nicola Bellini, Co-author of the research; Andrea Piccaluga, Author oh the research; Stefano Del Corso, President of the Pisa Foundation; Michele Conti, Mayor of Pisa.