Vasile Puscas reaffirms Romania’s backing for EU food aid programme

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Head of the Department for European Affairs (DAE) Minister Vasile Puscas reaffirmed on Wednesday Romania’s support for the European Union (EU) food aid programme for people in need.

The European Court of Account released on September 22 the „Special Report: European Union food aid for deprived persons”, and the audit run by the Court of Account was assessing to what extent the programme goals are observed, as well as the application of its specific procedures, concluding that there are still certain administrative difficulties mainly due to various ways of attributing the public acquisition contracts in the member states, but shortcomings also appeared in the field of all EU operators’ equal access to this programme.

The Minister for European Affairs underlined the importance of keeping on this programme and even the desideratum to see it evolve toward a steady increase in its funds due to its social component, DAE informed in its release.

„Mainly the programme is seeking to aid citizens of the member states in case of special humanitarian situations, focusing on the distribution of main staple food products to those in need. Romania, as a participant in this programme, is backing the European Commission proposal to ask the member states to elaborate some national plans of distribution of such food aid”, said Minister Vasile Puscas.

The European Union programme of food aid for deprived persons was introduced in 1987, having as its main goal the free distribution of certain staple food products to people in dire need.

Romania was in 2008 the fifth beneficiary of this programme, registering an increase of the aid value by more than 45 percent from the previous year (approximately 24 million euros).
A substantial increase of funds destined to the Community programme was also registered in 2009, by more than 60 percent (to some 500 million euros).

Romania has already taken important measures to render the aid distribution more efficient, through the adoption of the Government Decision 600/2009. The document regulates the beneficiary categories, as well as modalities of distribution of free food to them and the institutions involved in this process.

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