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(17 April 2013) - The Committee of the Regions asks to commit an additional €1 billion from EU funds to support the most deprived.

Europe's cities and regions have argued that the level of investment for a new fund dedicated to supporting citizens most in need is insufficient. The European Commission has proposed ring-fencing €2.5 billion from the total EU cohesion budget to provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived in Europe.

The Committee of the Regions (CoR), however, argues that given the impact of the crisis which has resulted in ever increasing numbers of people exposed to poverty, an additional €1 billion is needed. The CoR also stressed that delivering poverty mitigation schemes requires Member State and regional authority involvement, so the EU should co-finance schemes investing up to 85%.

The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived set out by the Commission seeks to help deliver the EU's objective of reducing by at least 20 million the number of people in or at risk of poverty or social exclusion by 2020. The Fund succeeds the current EU food aid programme which makes agricultural surpluses available as food aid, but expands the scope to include other essential goods, such as clothing.

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