The European Commission has approved the Social Inclusion and Dignity Program, related to the 2021-2027 programming period, through which funds of over four billion EUR will be allocated to support hundreds of thousands of elderly people, children and people with disabilities, informs a press release from the Ministry of European Investments and Projects (MIPE) on Thursday.
“The purpose of the program is to support the social inclusion of people belonging to vulnerable groups, especially those with high risk, by reducing the rural-urban gap in terms of poverty and social exclusion and increasing access to quality services for the vulnerable population”, the release mentioned.
The objectives pursued by the program are: increasing access to social services for the vulnerable population, especially from rural areas through the establishment and development of social services at the local level; increasing the quality and capacity of social services intended for people belonging to vulnerable groups by providing well-trained specialized personnel at the local level and the appropriate infrastructure; reducing the degree of social exclusion for vulnerable groups by offering support and accessible services to overcome difficult situations; increasing the capacity of local authorities to identify and assess the social needs of the community in a participatory way and to develop appropriate action plans.
“In order to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty, we must carry out integrated interventions, which involve the development of social services to ensure interventions at the local level and through the efficient and effective use of financial and human resources. Until now, it is evident the uneven development of services and from the point of view of the categories of beneficiaries, this motivates the approach followed within the program. The architecture of the interventions was made in such a way as to ensure the implementation of the actions in a coherent and efficient manner and to respond to the needs of the targeted vulnerable groups, without dispersing the financial effort At the program level, the priorities support distinct vulnerable groups, but include measures that are interconnected, so as to ensure an efficient financial allocation of interventions. We also ensure that we respond synergistically to the country recommendations that Romania has received from the bodies international”, declared relevant minister Marcel Bolos.
The Social Inclusion and Dignity Program benefits from a total allocation of 4.15 billion EUR and supports, through specific funding priorities: Local Development placed under Community Responsibility, both in the urban environment (total allocation of 233 million EUR) and in rural areas (total allocation 160.7 million EUR), protecting the right to social dignity, with a total allocation of 292.5 million EUR, supporting rural communities without access or with reduced access to social services – 815.04 million EUR.
Also, to reduce the disparities between children at risk of poverty, 560.65 million EUR are allocated, for support for elderly people – 241 million EUR, support for people with disabilities – 534.7 million EUR and for other vulnerable people – 198 million EUR , social innovation – 17.5 million EUR, as well as for helping disadvantaged people in material deprivation – 986.14 million EUR.
For interventions dedicated to technical assistance, a total financial allocation of 112.5 million EUR is foreseen.
The program aims for, at the end of the programming period, 798 children to have a better life, 582 people out of housing exclusion, 601 social enterprises established in rural areas, 200 regulated informal settlements and 378 vulnerable people with improved access to health, social and educational services.
Also, with the funds allocated through this program, it is hoped that the situation of 35 elderly people and 89 people with disabilities will improve, and that 700 vulnerable elderly people from marginalized urban communities will have improved living conditions.
Last but not least, 307 people with disabilities will use aid equipment, 591 professionals and specialists from social services, informal carers, will obtain a qualification, 586 migrants have followed a training program or will have a job, 4,022 people without shelter whose situation improved upon the termination of the participant qualification, and 185,888 beneficiaries will benefit from hot meals and food vouchers/packages.
Through this program, new protected housing infrastructure will be provided for victims of domestic violence and victims of human trafficking, for 430 people/year, new or rehabilitated infrastructure for the socio-professional inclusion of migrants, for 946 people/year, and an innovation and social inclusion cluster. Recently, the signing of the Partnership Agreement between the Government of Romania and the European Commission took place, the strategic document covering the Cohesion Policy and Maritime and Fisheries Policy funds for the 2021 – 2027 programming period.
Thus, in the third financial exercise through which the Romanian state will benefit from European funds, 16 Programs will be implemented, through which Romania will be allocated over 31 billion EUR.
The first Program approved by the European Executive from the 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy was the Technical Assistance Program, on August 23, with an allocation of 0.96 billion EUR.