The Operational Program Helping Disadvantaged Persons POAD 2014-2020, made by the European Union to provide assistance to the most needy, has been stymied for 3 years and has been practically destroyed by the incompetence of its governors.
375 million euros, funds still available, remain untouched from 2017 in a country with a third of the population at risk of poverty – the penultimate place in the EU.
Until 2016, the Program was used by the Social Democrat (PSD) governments to inflate the electoral lists. Food packages were distributed at the will of mayors to almost anyone who asked, without targeting extreme poverty. Contrarily, the most vulnerable, homeless men and women, women fleeing domestic violence, children without NOCs, were excluded.
In 2016, together with the team from the Ministry of European Funds, we changed the structure of the beneficiaries, in order to better target society’s most vulnerable There are approximately 500,000 people living in extreme poverty. These are the people who really need help.
The PSD-ALDE governments did not implement the changes, although they were approved by the European Commission. Without the opportunity for vote bribery, the PSD does not care. If it requires leaving the office or collaborating with organizations working with real poor people in the real world, the chiefs of the Ministry of Funds refuse to act. The real binomial that locks Romania in place is this: politicians who do not care and incompetent administrative mainstays.
All the truly anti-poverty measures introduced in 2016 were ignored, applied poorly or forever delayed.
Take for example the introduction of supplies for students and preschoolers, kits for newborns, hot meals in social cafeterias, and sleeping bags for the homeless.
The requisites were granted on a limited basis in 2019, after almost 3 years. Those seen as extras, not at all.
We call on the government under Ludovic Orban to resume the formulas proposed by the technocrats from 2016, which were negotiated with the European Commission and are part of the program. It would, in the end, be proof of respect for and consideration of the people who truly need help.