“This is the ministry’s annual regular activity since 2015, and we have allocated HRK 30 million for the next 2022/2023 school year for this very purpose,” said Piletić.
Contracts were signed with 17 beneficiaries today which will provide school meals for 14,500 children at risk of poverty, and more contracts will be signed with other elementary school founders. The minister believes that the allocated HRK 30 million will all be spent during the next school year.
The funds allocated so far through the European Aid Fund for the Most Deprived (FEAD) will be allocated next year through the European Social Fund Plus. An allocation of just over €35 million is planned to continue funding this activity until 2027.
Piletić underscored that local government units will also additionally finance these activities, which will include about 30,000 children at risk of poverty in the next school year.
Speaking about children at risk of poverty, Piletić pointed out that only data from 2020 is currently available and the percentage of these children dropped to 16.8%, which is slightly lower than the European average of 21%.
“The poverty rate is highest in Slavonian counties for well-known reasons, but because there are children at risk of poverty in the whole of Croatia, including developed areas, our goal is for school founders in all of Croatia to be potential beneficiaries in the next programme period,” Piletić said.
The contracts today were signed by seven counties: Krapina-Zagorje, Sisak-Moslavina, Varaždin, Bjelovar-Bilogora, Međimurje, Koprivnica-Križevci, Brod-Posavina; and 10 cities: Slavonski Brod, Vukovar, Bjelovar, Križevci, Zadar, Čakovec, Vinkovci, Šibenik, Makarska, and Virovitica.
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