The European Commission has approved today the Austrian Operational Programme to use the new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). Austria will receive €18,03 million euros in current prices in the period 2014-2020 to provide basic material assistance to those most in need in the country (complemented with €3,18 million from national resources).
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, commented: "I warmly welcome the FEAD programme for Austria. Improving access to quality education is one of the best ways to overcome socio-economic disadvantage and to improve the life chances of citizens. The Austrian programme will make a real difference to the lives of children and their families at need."
In Austria, the FEAD will address the material deprivation of those with difficulties to buy school materials at the beginning of the school year. Families depending on social assistance with children at primary and secondary school level will receive basic educational materials (e.g. school bag, stationery, painting material, etc.), according to their age and school type. Accompanying measures will provide beneficiaries with relevant information to improve their social inclusion and tailored advice and orientation activities.
Stakeholders, such as the National Poverty Platform, were largely involved during the preparation of the operational programme and will also be involved during its implementation.
Launched in January 2014, the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) is a potent symbol of European solidarity. Its main aim is to break the vicious circle of poverty and deprivation, by providing non-financial assistance to some of the EU’s most vulnerable citizens. The FEAD is worth €3.8 billion in real terms in the 2014 to 2020 period.
The Fund will help to strengthen social cohesion by alleviating the worst forms of poverty. It will also contribute to meeting the EUROPE 2020 target of reducing the number of people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion by at least 20 million by 2020.
The FEAD will support all 28 Member States' actions to provide a broad range of non-financial assistance to most deprived people – be they individuals, families, households or groups of such persons. This assistance can include food, clothing and other essential goods for personal use such as shoes, soap and shampoo. It can also be used for actions that encourage social integration.
Each Member State will define the target group of ‘most deprived persons’ in its national operational programme. Member States can then choose which type of assistance they wish to provide (food or basic goods or a combination of both), and their preferred model for procuring and distributing the food and goods, according to their own situation and preferences
The EU's Food Distribution programme for the Most Deprived People (MDP) was from 1987 an important source of provisions for organisations working in direct contact with the least fortunate people providing them with food. It was created to make good use of the then agricultural surpluses. With the expected depletion of intervention stocks and their high unpredictability over the period 2011-2020, as a consequence of successive reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, the MDP was discontinued at the end of 2013, being since then replaced by the FEAD.
For more information
- Frequently asked questions on FEAD: MEMO/14/170
- FEAD Regulation (EU 223/2014)
- Austrian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
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