A new fund to help deprived people in the European Union has been proposed by the European Commission. The fund would support schemes in member states providing food to the most deprived people, and clothing and other essential goods (such as shoes, soap and shampoo) to homeless people and materially deprived children.
The Commission envisages a budget of €2.5 billion (about £2 billion) for the fund over the period 2014–2020. Member states would be responsible for paying 15 per cent of the costs of their national programmes, with the remaining 85 per cent coming from the fund.
The proposal now goes to the European Parliament and the European Union's Council of Ministers for approval.