(Brussels, 11 June 2013) Today, the Red Cross calls on European Parliament to vote in favour of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) as a strong statement of solidarity with those hit by the economic crisis.
On 11 and 12 June 2013, the European Parliament will hold plenary sessions on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). In preparation for the debate, the Committee for Employment and Social Affairs adopted a report outlining the features that parliamentarians want to see clarified or changed on the basis of the proposal for the Fund presented by the European Commission. The Committee pointed out that FEAD should deliver a substantial contribution to existing national and local material aid schemes in all EU Member States. An amount of 3.5 billion Euro should be reserved for assistance to citizens living with severe material deprivation.
Emer Costello, Member of the European Parliament and Rapporteur for FEAD, stated: "The Fund for the European Aid to the Most Deprived is a sign of European solidarity with those hit hardest by the crisis. Nearly one quarter of Europeans (120 million people) are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, 40 million people suffer from what is termed "extreme material deprivation" and there are four million people who are homeless. FEAD is an instrument to alleviate the most severe forms of poverty, namely food and material deprivation, by providing financial support to organisations which help the most deprived, such as the Red Cross and others. However, it is important to underline that FEAD is only a complement to national policies, the responsibility and obligation to combat and eliminate poverty remains with the Member States."
The committee report emphasised that the new Fund needs to reflect the voluntary nature of material aid distribution, be effective and simple to implement for the distributing organisations. Red Cross is one of four major networks distributing food, clothes, housing and hygiene goods in local communities. Thousands of Red Cross volunteers show their solidarity with citizens in need, take care of delivering packages to local social shops and to peoples’ homes, and add special value with social assistance and psychosocial support. In several EU countries, Red Cross societies report a drastic increase of requests for assistance, particularly worrying is the situation for low income families, unemployed young people, and pensioners with minimal income.
The Red Cross along with social NGOs and social services providers call on the European Parliament to vote in favour of FEAD as a strong statement of solidarity with those hit hardest by the crisis.
Letter of five EU level networks to MEPs calling for support to FEAD
Letter of French NGOs to MEPs calling for support to FEAD
Virginie Louis, Communications Officer, Red Cross EU Office, Tel: 02/235 06 83,
Red Cross EU Office
our new address:
rue de Trèves 59-61
Tel: +32(0)2 235 06 80
Direct line : +32(0)2 235 06 83
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