Dutch allocate €16m to provide food and essentials to poor families
The Netherlands has been awarded €413 million from the European Social Fund to support people at the bottom end of the jobs market and to counteract rising poverty.
The Dutch plan has been approved by the European Commission and marks the first time that ministers will have used EU money to help ensure people in the Netherlands have enough to eat, the social affairs ministry said.
In total almost €16 million has been allocated for food and other essential support, such as school books for children and menstruation products for girls.
The bulk of the cash – €270 million – will go to local authorities and other organisations which help people find jobs and to retrain for other functions.
‘We are helping employers fill vacancies, ensuring that there is enough food for people who are struggling and helping children who are growing up in poverty,’ minister Carola Schouten said in a statement.
The ESF funding runs up to 2027. Non profit organisations can apply for grants from next month.
Meanwhile, energy minister Rob Jetten has said that ‘no-one will be left in the cold’ this winter, despite surging energy bills.
The cabinet is currently looking at ways to make sure people are not cut off if they cannot pay their bills, which may involve setting up a special fund to take over payments.
More details are due to be published either on Friday or next week, when the government presents its 2023 spending plans to parliament.
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