The European Commission has approved the amendment of three operational programs (OPs) under REACT-EU to provide 75.9m euros to Bulgaria and 57.5m euros to Sweden to deal with the effects of the pandemic.
Jobs and Social Rights Commissioner Nicolas Schmidt said: “The coronavirus has tested our social fabric and affected the most vulnerable. The EU is showing solidarity by supporting aid in these difficult times and promoting social inclusion. "
Cohesion and Reform Commissioner Eliza Ferreira said: "The decisions approved today are the result of good policy measures. They will provide the much-needed investment resources for the transition to environmental and digital recovery after the coronavirus crisis. "
The Bulgarian program for the Fund for European Assistance to the Most Deprived (FEPNL) will receive an additional EUR 19.9 million in 2021 to provide daily warm food to 50,000 people of vulnerable groups living in poverty. This is the first amendment to the FEPN operational program under REACT-EU.
In addition, the Bulgarian Science and Education for Smart Growth program, co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will be complemented by EUR 56 million in support of distance learning. At least 10% of students and teachers will receive laptops or tablets, and 30% of teachers will receive online teaching training.
REACT-EU is part of NextGenerationEU and provides € 50.5 billion in additional funding in 2021 and 2022 for ERDF, ESF, and FEPNL programs.