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European Social Fund Plus

REACT-EU: €46.9 million for Belgium and Germany to support individuals fleeing Russia's aggression

ukraine flag lights up front of berlaymont building
(c) European Union

Belgium and Germany will receive an additional €46.9 million under REACT-EU to support jobseekers, disadvantaged students, homeless people and others in need, including those are fleeing Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.

In Belgium, the Operational Program (OP) of the Fund for Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) will receive €14.3 million to support the growing number of people in need of food aid. This new funding will allow Belgium to provide food parcels to people fleeing war in Ukraine and to people struggling to obtain food due to rising prices. The European Social Fund (ESF) OP for Brussels will receive 2.8 million euros to support the “Active Job Search Workshops” (ARAE). Through training, coaching and skills validation, the RAEA will help 5,500 jobseekers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic improve their chances of finding a job.

In Germany, the ESF OP for Berlin is receiving an additional €16.8 million to support around 6,300 of the people most affected by the pandemic. Berlin will use the funds to support vocational schools, disadvantaged students, as well as homeless people and others who suffer or are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. People fleeing Russia's aggression against Ukraine will also benefit from this support, in particular through targeted aid for pupils in schools in Berlin who are fleeing the war. Additionally, Berlin will use the funds to support innovative and promising start-up projects, delivering technical innovation and accelerating digital transformation in the medical and healthcare sector.

In addition, in Hesse the ESF OP will receive €13 million to fund the training of digital trainers and provide educators and learners with digital devices and content. Hesse will also fund measures to help job seekers from families with children in need, people with a migrant background and those in need since the pandemic access the labor market. The 2021 tranche of REACT-EU had already allocated 40 billion euros.

To help Member States welcome and integrate people fleeing the war in Ukraine, since March 2022 the Commission has already paid €3.5 billion in pre-financing to Member States under REACT-EU. On Wednesday, the Commission presented the FAST-CARE proposal to ensure that pre-financing payments to be made in 2022 and 2023 are increased by an additional €3.5 billion