EUR 20 million to fight poverty in Romania
‘Romania faces serious challenges relating to poverty and social exclusion, particularly among the Roma people. This is why we are allocating funds from the Norway Grants to improve their living conditions,’ said Minister Vidar Helgesen.
Romania is one of the poorest countries in the EU. More than 40 % of its population, or around nine million people, are at risk of poverty according to Eurostat. In particular, a large number of Roma people do not have access to adequate education, health and other social services.
There are no simple, fast solutions. The programme aims to lift people out of poverty in the long term through education opportunities, including vocational training, and health and other social services.
‘We will draw on expertise from organisations such as the World Bank and Unicef, and make use of experience gained in other projects, but new approaches will also be tried out,’ said Minister for EEA and EU Affairs, Vidar Helgesen.
The projects that will be funded under the programme are targeted at children, young people, parents, the unemployed, the public authorities and NGOs. Funding will also be used for awareness-raising campaigns to combat discrimination and promote tolerance in the Romanian society.
The projects will be carried out in 15 counties across Romania. One of the projects entails socio-graphic mapping of the Roma communities. The Norwegian branch of the Salvation Army and the City of Oslo are partners in two of the seven projects.
Norway has previously allocated around EUR 17 million for poverty reducing measures in Romania. With this new programme, the total will be EUR 37 million. The projects will run until 2017. Altogether, Romania will receive EUR 305 million from Norway during this period. The EEA and Norway Grants represent Norway’s contribution to reducing social and economic disparities within the European Economic Area.