The European Parliament has approved the Commission’s proposal to provide more funds to support the most deprived in Europe. The proposal amends the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) regulation, allowing Member States to utilise money from the Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe package (REACT-EU) to fund programmes financed by FEAD.
The amendment will allow funding to be spent until the end of 2023, thus providing more long-term support to FEAD programmes. Further, it is now possible to use an EU co-financing rate of up to 100%, in order to ensure that Member States have sufficient financial means to swiftly implement measures to assist the most deprived. Also, in alignment with REACT-EU, 11% of the additional resources for 2021 will be pre-financed.
The FEAD is an important funding instrument for NGO’s across Europe – including many of our network members- who provide material and non-material assistance to people experiencing poverty, food deprivation, and homelessness. The Commission had made a previous amendment to the FEAD regulation on April 2020, as part of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+) package, making it possible to deliver material assistance to people in need in a safer way by using vouchers, among other things. This new amendment strengthens the fund, provides some relief to organisations responding to the COVID-19 emergency, and enables the continuity of their aid provision.
Eurodiaconia welcomes this agreement, particularly as we have been advocating for more funding to be addressed to those providing social services and basic assistance in the midst of a pandemic that has heavily increased the demand for aid and the pressure on social service providers. As Commissioner Schmit has reminded us “we are not all equal in the face of this pandemic and the most vulnerable suffer more. This agreement is a clear sign that the European Union continues to stand by those most in need.”
For more information on this topic, please visit the website of the European Commission.
For more information on our advocacy work calling for increased social funding, please see our latest publication on COVID and diaconal services.