On October 28th, our Dutch member Kerk in Actie (Church in Action) presented the outcomes of an interdenominational research on the work done by parishes and church congregations in tackling poverty in the Netherlands. Diaconal organisations from more than 10 Churches contributed with their data to this 7th edition survey. The document allows gaining an insight on daily practices and better plan church policies on poverty and aid, and is highly recommended also to governmental agencies active in the sector.
Among other things, the main figures show a dramatic increase in requests for financial assistance to diaconal organisations (from 39,481 in 2012 to 49,474 in 2015), while the number of diaconal institutions has shrunk (3,633 in 2015 against 3,895 in 2012) and is making a significantly greater effort to reducing poverty in the Netherlands. At the same time, the study reports that awareness about poverty is growing inside churches, which help equally church members and externals. The church’s involvement in projects that give direct attention and assistance to vulnerable groups, as food banks, charity shops, clothes and goods banks or debt-relief projects has increased, mainly thank to a big number of volunteers operating within it.
To find out more on the situation of churches and aid, please find the whole report here (NL)
A shorter summary in English, is available here (EN)