The Spanish Red Cross has launched its first ever campaign for donations to help people in the country hit by the economic crisis.

The Red Cross and other aid groups say soaring unemployment and government austerity measures are leaving tens of thousands of people in need of food and financial help.

While the Spanish Red Cross does already help people in the country, its fundraising has always been directed at helping poorer nations.

Wednesday's campaign aims to collect €30 million ($39 million) over two years to help an extra 300,000 people. The agency helped some 2 million in Spain last year, most of who needed aid because of the crisis.

The agency set up collection points in cities across Spain and thousands of volunteers paced the streets seeking contributions.