Amendments to the FEAD Regulation were adopted on 22 April to meet COVID-19 related challenges, including through enabling the buying of protective equipment for those delivering aid. Food and basic material assistance can be delivered through vouchers, lowering risks of contamination.
Part of the Coronavirus Investment Initiative Plus (CRII Plus), these modifications offer more flexibility and liquidity for Member States, and less administrative burden to face the COVID 19 pandemic.
As most of Europe practices social distancing to slow the spread of the virus, it is all the more important that those who rely on others for the most basic of needs are not cut off from help.
The coronavirus crisis presents an unprecedented challenge for the operations supported by the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). Most importantly, it presents specific risks to the most deprived themselves.
Specific measures need to be taken urgently in order to protect them from falling victim to this disease. This includes
- providing them and the workers and volunteers delivering the aid with the necessary protective equipment, and
- ensuring that the FEAD assistance still reaches the most vulnerable in a safe environment.
Logistical and human resource constraints, notably due to the confinement and social distancing measures increasingly impede the distribution of food and basic material assistance, as well as social inclusion support.
Many volunteers, the backbone of the Fund, can no longer be mobilised, as they often belong to groups at a higher risk of severe illness caused by the coronavirus.
Therefore, the FEAD will evolve to meet the challenge.