Wrap-up of Announced EU Spending From September 20th to 25th

Wrap-up of Announced EU Spending From September 20th to 25th
27 September 2023

MEPS vote to approve aid to Romania, Italy, and Turkey

On September 20, 2023, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), specifically the Committee on Budgets, voted to approve the allocation of approximately €455 million from the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to provide aid and support to Romania, Italy, and Turkey, which have all been severely affected by multiple natural disasters this year. The EUSF assistance will cover a wide range of costs associated with emergency and recovery operations, including the repair of damaged infrastructure, the reinforcement of preventive measures, safeguarding cultural heritage, and conducting cleanup operations.

During their meeting, MEPs on the Committee on Budgets expressed their heartfelt solidarity with the victims, their families, and all those who have been impacted by these natural disasters. The decision to allocate funding from the EUSF was passed with an overwhelming majority, with 26 votes in favor, 1 vote against, and 2 abstentions. Furthermore, MEPs voiced their concerns about the increasing intensity and frequency of natural disasters, driven by the looming threat of climate change affecting both the European Union and the global community.

The Foreign Affairs Council releases frozen aid to Afghanistan

Furthermore, on September 20th, the Foreign Affairs Council, a vital part of the Council of the European Union, reached a significant decision to unfreeze €140 million in aid to Afghanistan. This aid had been withheld since December 2022 in response to the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan and their subsequent restrictions on women's rights. This move to release the aid builds upon a prior decision by the Foreign Affairs Council in February 2023 to adopt a principled approach for EU assistance, with the condition that the aid is channeled exclusively to areas where women are permitted to participate in the delivery and benefit from the assistance. As an additional requirement for releasing this aid, it is stipulated that Afghan women and girls must be involved in every stage of the aid distribution process.

This newly unfrozen aid will be funneled through channels including the World Bank, various United Nations agencies, and grassroots non-governmental organizations operating on the ground. These organizations will focus their efforts on critical areas such as education, healthcare, agriculture, and the economic empowerment of women in Afghanistan. This concerted effort aims to provide much-needed support to the Afghan population, which is grappling with a multitude of challenges.

The European Commission sends humanitarian aid to Nagorno-Karabakh

Finally, as a response to the ongoing crises in Nagorno-Karabakh, the European Commission made a significant announcement on September 21st, allocating an extra €500,000 in humanitarian aid to assist those affected by the conflict in the region. This emergency funding supplements the €1.17 million in humanitarian aid that the EU had previously allocated to address the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis earlier this year. The primary objective of this new assistance is to provide immediate humanitarian aid to support individuals who have been displaced by the conflict. Furthermore, the EU has initiated collaboration with humanitarian partners on the ground to closely monitor the evolving situation and ensure an effective response.



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