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COVID-19: FEAD to continue supporting people in need

 28-04-2020

In the context of the Covid-19 outbreak, on 2nd April the European Commission adopted an ambitious proposal for a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII Plus) Package which includes a proposal for amending the FEAD Regulation:

  •         It provides for sufficient flexibility for Member States to adjust the schemes of support to the current context, including by allowing alternative schemes of delivery e.g. through electronic vouchers and by allowing Member States to amend certain elements of the operational program for the distribution of food/basic material assistance (FEAD OP I) without requiring an adoption by Commission decision.
  •         All FEAD expenditure for operations fostering crisis response capacities in the context of the Coronavirus outbreak are eligible as of 1 February 2020. If the COM proposal is accepted, these actions can be financed from that date.
  •         This proposal makes it possible to provide the necessary protective materials and equipment to partner organizations outside the technical assistance budget.
  •         The proposal also allows Member States to benefit from a higher co-financing (up to 100%), upon their request, for the next accounting year (1 July 2020-30 June 2021)
  •         The proposal includes specific provisions regarding the eligibility of costs incurred by beneficiaries in case the delivery of food/basic material assistance or social inclusion assistance is delayed as well as for suspended and not fully implemented operations.
  •         Finally, it reduces administrative burden for MS, allowing them to focus on the response to this crisis, by providing lighter monitoring, audit and control requirements during this period.

In fact, on Friday 17 April 2020, the European Parliament adopted the additional measures so that EU funding can be granted immediately and with exceptional flexibility to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.Measures include the possibility to finance the provision of protective equipment for workers and volunteers, the temporary 100% co-financing from the EU budget and lighter reporting and audit measures during the COVID-19 crisis.

Finally, the 23 April 2020 the Council adopted these new rules intended to minimise the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on the most deprived EU citizens. The amendments to the regulation on FEAD will make it easier for member states, partner organisations and other parties involved to access the fund and protect their staff involved in distributing the aid. Around 13 million EU citizens benefit from the fund each year.

  •   Amending Regulation - full text here
  •   Regulation on FEAD - full text here
  •   The specific measures for addressing the outbreak of COVID-19 amending Regulation (EU) No 223/2014 were published on the Official Journal of the EU on 24 April 2020.

The Regulation entered into force on 25 April 2020.

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