Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived Approved

The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) has announced the approval of a regulation on the Fund for the most deprived (FEAD). The FEAD's financial resources of almost 3.5 billion euros will be distributed to member states for seven years (2014-2020).
As the new Fund is needed at the beginning of 2014 in order to provide uninterrupted assistance to the most deprived persons during the winter of 2013-14, the regulation provides that expenditure is possible from 1 December 2013.
The member states can choose whether to distribute food and/or other material assistance to the most deprived persons, or to address them by other means such as social inclusion activities.
It is expected that the most important means of assistance to the most deprived will indeed be food assistance. As a new element, the member states may also use some of the funding to facilitate food donations from private sources e.g. from supermarkets. Partner organisations, often non-governmental, are expected to be responsible for delivering the food or goods to the most deprived persons. To meet the Fund's social cohesion objectives, partner organisations would not only have to provide material assistance to the most deprived persons but also undertake basic activities aimed at their social integration. The Fund would also be able to support such accompanying measures.
The Fund is intended to both replace and expand on the current EU food aid programme, which has been running since 1987. The general objective of the Fund is to promote social cohesion by contributing towards achieving the EU2020 poverty reduction headline target. More specifically, the instrument will aim to alleviate the worst forms of poverty by providing non-financial assistance to the most deprived people.