EUR 20 million for fighting poverty in Romania

An additional EUR 20 million of the Norway Grants is to be used to fight poverty in Romania, with particular focus on regions with a large number of Roma people.

The Pata Rata rubbish dump outside the city of Cluj in Romania will close in 2015. Funding from the Norway Grants has been allocated to provide people living on the dump with housing, education and other social services. Photo: Jens Petter Søraa, Adresseavisen.
The Pata Rata rubbish dump outside the city of Cluj in Romania will close in 2015. Funding from the Norway Grants has been allocated to provide people living on the dump with housing, education and other social services. Photo: Jens Petter Søraa, Adresseavisen.

'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 Vidar Helgesen, Minister for EEA and EU Affairs.

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 do not have access to adequate education, health and other social services.

There are no simple, fast solutions. This 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 Mr 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 all over Romania. One of the projects entails socio-graphic mapping of the Roma communities at national level. The Norwegian branch of the Salvation Army and the City of Oslo are partners in two of the seven projects. Open the attachment to read more about the 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 Eruopean Economic Area.