The European Commission has approved the modification of four operational programmes in Spain, that will allow the mobilisation of more than €1.11 billion of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, commented: “No region can be left to fight the pandemic alone. I am glad that Spain continues to make good use of the flexibility offered by the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative packages. We are tirelessly working with all the relevant authorities in Europe to make available all the funding possible to tackle the emergencies.”
The support will be distributed as follow:
-With the modification of the Multiregional Operational Programme, €971 million will increase the response capacity of the health system through the purchase of protective equipment and health material; €62 million will be dedicated to equip students and schools with computers and other digital resources.
-The amendment of the Aragón Operational Programme will make available €33.1 million to alleviate the impact of the outbreak on the health system, to support SMEs in facing the effects of the lockdown, and to enable the digitisation of the education sector.
-In Ceuta, €13.5 million will be redirected to the engagement of additional healthcare staff and the acquisition of protective equipment, and to financially help SMEs facing lack of liquidity due to the lockdowns, including with grants for working capital.
-At the same time, in Murcia €33.6 million will support mainly the purchase and construction of new laboratory equipment for coronavirus testing, facilitate telework in the public administration and ICT learning resources for the educational system, and support SMEs, including grants for working capital.
The co-financing rate in all four operational programmes is temporarily increased to 100% to help beneficiaries overcome liquidity scarcity in the implementation of their projects.
Until today, 19 ERDF operational programmes in Spain have reallocated funds to fight the consequences of the pandemic. The European Commission's Coronavirus Dashboard provides detailed information on EU Cohesion policy's response to the crisis.
The modifications are possible thanks to the exceptional flexibility under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+) which allow Member States to use Cohesion policy funding to support the most affected sectors because of the pandemic, such as healthcare, SMEs and labour markets. In this framework, Spain plans to mobilise a total €2.5 billion from the ERDF to support the health services and businesses in mitigating the harmful consequences of the coronavirus outburst in the country.
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