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Poverty: Commission has committed €3.8 billion to fight poverty and help the most vulnerable in Europe

26/02/2015
Poverty: Commission has committed €3.8 billion to fight poverty and help the most vulnerable in Europe © Rehan Qureshi / Shutterstock

The European Commission has today finalised the process of adoption of all national Operational Programmes implementing the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) for the period 2014-2020, worth 3.8 billion euro in basic non-financial assistance to those most in need in the Member States.

The FEAD gives Member States valuable support in their efforts to help Europe's most vulnerable people, those who have been worst affected by the on-going economic and social crisis. By providing non-financial assistance, the FEAD will contribute to alleviate the worst forms of deprivation and will make a significant contribution in the fight against poverty.

The assistance provided by the fund can include food, clothing and other essential goods for personal use (such as shoes, soap and shampoo), as well as actions that encourage social integration. By alleviating the worst forms of poverty and material deprivation, the Fund will help to strengthen social cohesion and 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 Fund offers considerable flexibility to Member States, who have been able to choose, according to their own situation and traditions, the type of assistance they wish to provide (material or non-material assistance), and their preferred model for procuring and distributing the food and goods.


How the FEAD will be used in each Member State?

  • Austria will receive 18.03 million euros in current prices (complemented with 3.18 million euros from national resources), which will be used to help families with difficulties to buy school materials at the beginning of the school year. Accompanying measures will provide beneficiaries with relevant information to improve their social inclusion and tailored advice and orientation activities.
  • Belgium will receive 73.8 million euros in current prices (complemented with 14.3 million euros from national resources), which will support the free distribution of food to people confronted to poverty through a network of partner organisations. The latter will also provide measures aiming at social integration. There is also the possibility to cover material assistance to children in the future.
  • Bulgaria will receive 104.8 million euros in current prices (complemented with over 15 million from national resources). The funding will finance the distribution of individual packages with food products, as well as warm meals through soup kitchens and supporting social services. The programme will also offer accompanying measures to promote social inclusion.
  • Croatia will receive 36.6 million euros in current prices (complemented with nearly 6.5 million from national resources) to provide food aid in the form of either meals or food packages, together with hygiene products, school material and sport equipment. Accompanying measures will also provide counselling on balanced nutrition, health care and personal hygiene, parenting and financial literacy, among others areas.
  • Cyprus will receive 3.9 million euros in current prices (complemented with around 700,000 euros from national resources), which will serve to provide school material (clothing and bags) to the most deprived students attending public schools. It will thus complement an existing national scheme providing them with food.
  • The Czech Republic will receive 23.3 million euros in current prices (complemented with over 4 million euros from national resources) to tackle food and material deprivation of groups such as families with children and other people in serious social need, and those suffering from (or at risk of) homelessness. Social inclusion activities will complement material assistance.
  • Denmark will receive 3.9 million euros in current prices (complemented with almost 700,000 euros from national resources). The funding will focus on the social inclusion of the most vulnerable homeless people, those with very sporadic or no contact with the social services. The target is to include 200 persons per year in the FEAD activities, in order to improve their situation as a first step towards subsequently taking part in existing social measures.
  • Estonia will receive 8 million euros in current prices (complemented with 1.4 million euros from national resources). The funding will address food deprivation, thus complementing national schemes dedicated to other types of material needs. It will help mitigate the food expenditure of the most deprived population, notably in winter, when they face the increased cost of heating. Through the collection and distribution of food donations, the programme also aims at reducing food waste.
  • Finland will receive 22.5 million euros in current prices (complemented by nearly 4 million euros from national resources), which will provide food aid to the most deprived, often people facing long-term difficulties, like those relaying on food banks. Accompanying measures will also be offered to the beneficiaries.
  • France will receive 499 million euros in current prices (complemented with 88 million from national resources), which will fund the provision of food aid to those most in need. It will be complemented by accompanying measures such as guidance and support to help them get out of poverty.
  • Germany will receive 78.9 million euros in current prices (complemented with 13.9 million euros from national resources). The funding will support the social inclusion of people suffering from (or threatened by) homelessness and of the most deprived EU migrants, by improving their access to material support and social services. It also aims at improving the access of immigrating children to offers of early education and social inclusion.
  • Greece will receive 280 million euros in current prices (complemented by almost 50 million euros from national resources). The allocation will be used to tackle food and material deprivation of those most in need, with a focus on families, in particular single parent or multi-child families, as well as on homeless. Material aid will include food packages or ready-made meals (mostly to the homeless), as well as shoes and clothes, school items and baby equipment.
  • Hungary will receive 93.8 million euros in current prices (complemented with 16.6 million euros from national resources), which will serve to provide food and material assistance to children from poor families, homeless people and disabled and/or elderly people with low income. Together with food packages and hot meals, other material assistance is foreseen in the case of children.
  • Ireland will receive 22.7 million euros in current prices (complemented by 4 million euros from national resources), in order to provide food and other basic goods like hygiene products, clothing, footwear and school supplies. The Irish programme targets the most deprived people who fall outside of assistance systems, whose social integration will also be promoted through accompanying measures.
  • Italy will receive 670 million euros in current prices, the biggest allocation in the EU, (complemented with 118 million euros from national resources). The fund will provide food for free to people in need (60% of the total budget). It will also support children in deprived families with school material and equipment (30% of the total budget), and offer assistance to homeless people, including sleeping bags, hygiene products, clothing and other basic goods.
  • Latvia will receive 41 million euros in current prices (complemented with 7.2 million euros from national resources), which will be used to provide food to those most in need. Households with children suffering from material deprivation will also be supported with educational material for school and other basic items.
  • Lithuania will receive 77 million euros in current prices (complemented with 13 million euros from national resources) to support the provision of food packages for 300,000 people in need. Starting in 2016, basic hygiene goods packages will complement the food support. Partner organisations will also offer accompanying measures to encourage the social integration.
  • Luxembourg will receive almost 4 million euros in current prices (complemented by 696,119 euros from national resources). The funding will help meet the needs of the most deprived with food and basic material assistance, and thus help them to save a budget for other expenditure, such housing costs.
  • Malta will receive nearly 4 million euros in current prices (complemented with 600,000 euros from national resources). This allocation will finance food packages to be delivered to households with the lowest means, such as those receiving social assistance, having at least two children and a revenue below the minimum wage, or receiving low non-contributory pensions.
  • The Netherlands will receive over 3.9 million euros in current prices (complemented with almost 700,000 euros from national resources), which will support people in pensionable age with a low income or considerable debts. This programme expects to help around 5000 participants over the seven years period.
  • Poland will receive 473.36 million euros in current prices (complemented with 83.5 million euros from national resources) to support the provision of food assistance to people at risk of poverty and social exclusion, with particular attention to large families and homeless people. Funding is planned also for accompanying measures, such as economic education workshops and educational programmes promoting the principles of healthy nutrition and counteracting wasting food.
  • Portugal will receive 176.9 million euros in current prices (complemented by 31.2 million euros from national resources), in order to provide food support and basic goods packages to those most in need, such as hygiene products, clothing, footwear and school supplies. Partner organisations will provide accompanying measures to encourage social integration.
  • Romania will receive over 441 million euros in current prices (complemented with over 75 million euros from national resources). This allocation will be used to provide food to those most in need, as well as school supplies to children in difficulty. 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 are among the complementary measures.
  • Slovakia will receive 55.1 million euros in current prices (complemented with 7.7 million euros from national resources), which will serve to provide food and basic material assistance to homeless people and to households reliant on benefits and in material need.
  • Slovenia will receive 20.5 million euros in current prices (complemented with 3.6 million euros from national resources) to offer food relief to most deprived people, together with accompanying measures. Food packages will mainly be delivered at local distribution points of selected partner organisations, but also directly to homes and shelters in the case of those most vulnerable and socially excluded.
  • Spain will receive 563.4 million euros in current prices (complemented by 99.4 million euros from national resources), the second biggest allocation in the EU. It will provide food aid and, in addition, partner organisations will offer accompanying measures to encourage the social-labour integration of the most deprived people.
  • Sweden will receive 7.8 million euros in current prices (complemented with 1.2 million from national resources), which will support socially excluded people, in particular non-economically active EU-EEA citizens, staying in Sweden temporarily and without the right to assistance from the social services. The fund will also facilitate activities to promote their knowledge of Swedish society, as well as health and prevention of illnesses.
  • The UK will receive 3.9 million euros in current prices (complemented by 0.7 million from national resources) to support the provision of food to the most deprived pupils. The allocation will finance breakfast clubs in primary and secondary schools to children entitled to free school meals, thus contributing to poor children’s academic attainment, promoting healthy eating habits at a young age and helping save money to families.