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European Commission - Press release

Poverty: Commission adopts Romanian programme to use over €441 million from Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

Brussels, 28 November 2014

The European Commission has approved the Romanian Operational Programme to use the new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). Romania will receive over €441 million euros (in current prices) in the period 2014-2020 to provide food to those most in need, as well as school supplies to children in difficulty. EU funding will be complemented with over €75 million from national resources.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, commented: "I warmly welcome the adoption of the FEAD programme for Romania. Now that food delivery is planned ahead of the winter, the fund will offer essential support to those who have the hardest time. I'm also glad that the programme focuses on vulnerable children, so their learning opportunities are not decreased by the lack of resources in their families".

Food delivery is planned to start this winter and, as of 2015, it will take place twice a year. Beneficiaries will be people living on social assistance, pensioners with low pensions and people whose income is lower than 45% of the minimum national wage.

Food packages will be complemented with measures aimed at social inclusion, such as   hygiene and nutritional education, help to access medical services or juridical counselling, orientation to the social services and guidance and support to find a job.

In the case of school equipment, from 2015 it will be delivered once a year. It will be offered to children from families with a monthly income lower than 50% of the minimum national wage.

Food and school supplies will be provided through municipalities and schools. NGOs will also be involved in delivering food to persons with mobility difficulties and in providing accompanying social inclusion measures.

Background

Romania has one of the highest poverty levels in the EU, with almost 30% of the population suffering from severe material deprivation. The Operational Programme adopted today will help the country to advance towards its target of lifting 580 000 people out of poverty.

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

IP/14/2227

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Tove ERNST (+32 2 298 67 64)

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