Milan, November 20 - The number of poor who chronically seek assistance from Catholic church charities in the Milan diocese has quadrupled over the last decade, according to a study released on Tuesday. Continuing economic crisis drove 16,751 people in 2011 to find help at centers of the Catholic charity Caritas Ambrosiana across the territories of the Milan diocese, the organization's 11th Report on Poverty found. The Milan diocese extends from Milan to cities beyond its periphery, like Varese, Monza and Lecco. Foreigners constituted 73.5% of those seeking help, the report said. Three quarters of them were working age, and two thirds were women. The total number of poor seeking aid increased by 6% since the first year of the crisis in 2008. The ranks of the chronically poor, who lean on the Caritas network for at least two years in a row, rose significantly, the study noted.
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di Giovanni Pastore