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Monday, 04 October 2010

Europe approves € 500 million of food aid for the needy for 2011

Food aid plans submitted by Member States for the 2011 Aid for the Needy Scheme were voted in the Single CMO Management Committee. Next year 20 Member States will use the scheme – with the Czech Republic participating for the first time. Originally designed to provide surplus stocks of farm produce ('intervention stocks') to needy people, the scheme was amended in the mid-1990s to make it possible to supplement intervention stocks with market purchases in certain circumstances. However, this year existing intervention stocks (cereals, milk powder, limited quantities of butter) cover most of the needs for the 2011 plan, so only limited recourse to market purchases is necessary. The allocated budget of 500 million Euros is the same as for the 2009 and 2010 plans. The scheme for 2011 is not related to the recent adapted proposal to adjust the scheme in future. The 2011 plan will now be adopted by the Commission in the near future. Dacian Ciolos, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said of the programme: "The Aid for the Needy Scheme is a further sign that the Common Agriculture Policy is not just for farmers, but for all EU citizens. Last year, an estimated 13 million people benefited from the various national programmes."

Source: European Commission