The Malta Independent 18 October 2021, Monday

Commission adopts Maltese programme to use €4m from Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived

Thursday, 11 December 2014, 13:55 Last update: about 8 years ago

The European Commission today approved the Maltese Operational Programme to use the new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). Malta will receive nearly €4 million euros (in current prices) in the period 2014-2020 to provide food assistance to those most in need in the country (complemented with €600 000 from national resources).

Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, commented: "I warmly welcome the FEAD programme for Malta, which will offer much needed support to those in the most trying situation. I am confident that the programme will help Malta to advance towards its target of lifting more than 6 500 people out of poverty by 2020".

In Malta, FEAD will provide food packages 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. Food delivery is planned indicatively three times a year and will be carried out by partner organisations, selected through an open call.

These organisations will also provide accompanying measures aiming at the social inclusion of the beneficiaries. These measures will include offering information on a healthy diet and advice on budget management and/or employment.

Launched in January 2014, the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) is a potent symbol of European solidarity. Its main aim is to break the vicious circle of poverty and deprivation, by providing non-financial assistance to some of the EU’s most vulnerable citizens. The FEAD is worth €3.8 billion in real terms in the 2014 to 2020 period.

The Fund will help to strengthen social cohesion by alleviating the worst forms of poverty. It will also 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 FEAD will support all 28 Member States' actions to provide a broad range of non-financial assistance to most deprived people – be they individuals, families, households or groups of such persons. This assistance can include food, clothing and other essential goods for personal use such as shoes, soap and shampoo. It can also be used for actions that encourage social integration.

Each Member State will define the target group of ‘most deprived persons’ in its national operational programme. Member States can then choose which type of assistance they wish to provide (food or basic goods or a combination of both), and their preferred model for procuring and distributing the food and goods, according to their own situation and preferences

The EU's Food Distribution programme for the Most Deprived (MDP) was from 1987 an important source of provisions for organisations working in direct contact with the least fortunate people providing them with food. It was created to make good use of the then agricultural surpluses. With the expected depletion of intervention stocks and their high unpredictability over the period 2011-2020, as a consequence of successive reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, the MDP was discontinued at the end of 2013, being since then replaced by the FEAD.

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