The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) supports EU countries’ actions to provide material assistance to the most deprived. This includes food, clothing and other essential items for personal use, e.g. shoes, soap and shampoo. Material assistance needs to go hand in hand with social inclusion measures, such as guidance and support to help people out of poverty. National authorities also support non-material assistance to the most deprived people, to help them integrate better into society.

The FEAD operational programme in Greece aims to provide food and basic material assistance to the most deprived households. Income reduction during the recession has resulted in an increase of the population who are at risk of poverty or exclusion. EL-STAT data suggests 50.3% of the poor population is facing food deprivation which amounts to more than 450,000 households in the Hellenic Republic. The seriousness of food deprivation led to a significant allocation of the operational programme towards food assistance for the most disadvantaged. Food aid and basic material assistance is given to all extremely poor people (around 400,000) including those who are homeless. It also aims to improve their chances for social reintegration.

Psychosocial support is an integral part of the FEAD operational programme. It helps individuals and communities to heal the psychological wounds and rebuild social structures after an emergency or a critical event. It can help change people into active survivors rather than passive victims. Early and adequate psychosocial support can:

  • prevent distress and suffering developing into something more severe

  • help people cope better and become reconciled to everyday life

  • help beneficiaries to resume their normal lives

  • meet community-identified needs

Financial crisis, conflicts and health problems have severe psychosocial consequences. The emotional wounds may be invisible, but it often takes long to recover from emotional impact than to overcome material losses. Early support and adaptation processes allow an affected population to cope better with a difficult situation.