- EP video: Citizens face hunger over budget cut

The Following invited experts made a presentation and took part in the discussions:

- Mr Olivier Berthe, Director, Les Restos du Coeur
- Mr Fintan Farrel,Director, European Anti-Poverty Network- Mr Balázs Cseh, President, Hungarian Foodbank Association
- Ms Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General, EUROCHILD- Mr Freek Spinnewijn, Director, European Federation of National Organisations Working with Homeless People

The experts highlighted the following main messages:

  • Although this programme can be considered as a drop in the ocean, it is crucial for vulnerable communities.
  • Extreme poverty has serious negative health consequences.
  • Food poverty and homelessness exist in all European countries.
  • This programme could help us learn about the reasons for food poverty.
  • In spite of the previous fund, the overall budget has decreased from €3,5 billion to €2,5 billion.
  • Local NGOs suffer from the high burden of administration - , co-financing may make delivery even more difficult in future.
  • using intervention stocks would be useful
  • It would be useful to set a Commission guideline on how to use these funds

The Rapporteur, Emer COSTELLO (S & D, IE), the shadow rapporteur, Csaba ŐRY (EPP, HU), Marian HARKIN (IE, ALDE), Edit BAUER (EPP, SK), Karima DELLI (FR, The Greens), Alejandro CERCAS (ES, S & D), and the Committee President, Pervenche BERČS (S & D, FR) contributed to the debate.

In light of the interventions, the MEPs from different political parties supported the idea of the Fund with the Committee expressing its openness to using its political weight to influence the Council and the different member states’ position in a positive way.

EPHA’s position on the Fund For European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAMD)

- EPHA calls for the proposal to include objectives like improved nutritional profile of foods, action against non-communicable diseases  [1] and health inequalities reduction.

- EPHA is also concerned that this scheme could displace other overarching solutions to poverty that address the underlying causes of poverty in a more sustainable fashion, and that the funds earmarked fall short of what is necessary to tackle the urgent current situation.

- From a social justice and poverty reduction perspective, the good health of all Europeans - supported by healthy and nutritious diets – will help contribute to Europe’s much needed recovery.

- Unlike the previous 100% funded food aid, member states now have to cover 15% of the programme’s costs, which might be problematic for many countries currently facing severe cuts to essential social and public health services. A welcome step towards overcoming this obstacle is a proposal that certain recession-driven EU member states have 100% of their expenses covered.

- Although the previous scheme made a difference for millions of children, disadvantaged families, elderly and unemployed people across the EU, emergency food aid is not a sustainable answer to food and nutrition poverty and insecurity.

- What we need in the first place is solutions that improve access to healthy foods for Europe’s poor while addressing long-term shortcomings.

- Improving this scheme will require building bridges between social, agriculture and health policies.

- EPHA believes that the new FEAMD scheme should include agricultural products of proven health benefits, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and legumes – products currently missing from the scheme’s proposal.


- EPHA briefing on the earlier Food Aid to Most Deprived Persons (MDP) which is still valid in terms of the changes need to the new fund.



EPHA related articles


- EPHA met with Emer COSTELLO MEP (IE, S&D), rapporteur of the proposal ’Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAMD)

- Europe approves allocation of € 500 million of Food for the Most Deprived programme for 2013 08/11/2012

- EPHA analysis of the Commission’s proposal for a new Fund for European Aid for the Most Deprived 08/11/2012

- Commission proposes new Fund for European Aid for the Most Deprived 07/11/2012

- FEANTSA, Eurodiaconia, Red Cross, Caritas Europa, FEBA and EAPN press statement 25/10/2012

- Food Aid in Europe to continue for two more years 20/02/2012

- EPHA Open Letter to the Polish Minister for Agriculture on the Most Deprived Persons Scheme in the EU 08/02/2012

- No more EU food aid for the most vulnerable in 2012? 12/01/2012

- EPHA position on the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy 12/12/2011

- MEPs against sharp cuts to the EU food aid scheme 17/07/2011

- Revised Commission proposal on Food Aid to Most Deprived Persons (MDP) Scheme 02/10/2010

- EPHA briefing on Food Aid to Most Deprived Persons (MDP) 23/07/2010

- EP hearing on the future of the CAP after 2013 31/03/2010

- Horizon 2020 – Financial Programme

Footnotes

[1] chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), overweight and obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and mental health disorders that pose the greatest threat to health and are a major barrier to sustainable economic and inclusive growth in Europe. Diet, along with physical activity, alcohol and tobacco consumption is one of the leading modifiable risk factors for NCDs

Last modified on March 8 2013.