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Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case RO-2020-28/961 Updated – measures in Romania

Hot meal vouchers for elderly

Tichete de masa pentru persoanele în vârstă

Country Romania , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 09 July 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
Author Victoria Stoiciu (European Institute of Romania) and Eurofound
Case created 10 July 2020 (updated 14 October 2021)

Background information

Old persons at risk of poverty are among the most vulnerable categories in the context of the economic and social crisis that emerged due to the COVID-19. According to Eurostat, 33.9% of Romanians aged over 65 are at risk of poverty and social exclusion (2019). Another category at risk are the homeless persons.

In order to prevent social hardship and further degradation of the social and living conditions of these categories, the Government designed a measure (through a Emergency Government Ordinance, GEO 115/2020) that will provide them with monthly hot meal vouchers.

The measure is also aiming to support the HORECA sector, one of the most impacted due to restrictions imposed by the Government during the state of emergency and state of alert.

Content of measure

Monthly hot meal vouchers will be offered to the following categories of beneficiaries:

  • old persons over 75, whose income is equal or lower than the level of the minimum social pensions (RON 704, equivalent to €135 per month)
  • homeless persons/families

The value of the vouchers is RON 180 per month (€34).

The list of the beneficiaries of the measures are completed by local authorities and centralized by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

The vouchers can only be used in the network of affiliated units which accept hot meal vouchers in accordance with the criteria set by the Ministry of European Founds.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

09 July 2021

On July 9, the Ministry of European Investments and Projects published a summary of the results obtained through this program up to that date.

Use of measure

The Government is expecting 290,000 to benefit from the measure at a total cost of RON 640 million (€133 Million).

At the beginning of March 2021, almost 285,000 elderly or homeless people were enrolled in the program. On 9 July the Ministry of European Investments and Projects published a summary of the work carried out through this program. Thus, until that date, 12,000,000 hot meals were provided to the people in the target group. Over 8,000 restaurants and canteens across the country contributed to the preparation of the food. In rural areas, where many beneficiaries of social vouchers for hot meals are concentrated, the utilization rate of the allocated amounts is close to 100%. More than 300,000 cards were issued and used and more than 2,000 POS were installed in rural areas.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Older citizens
Other groups of citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
European Funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

The involvement of social partners is unknown.

Views and reactions

No public position has been expressed so far by social partners.

Sources

  • 21 July 2020: Emergency Ordinance 115/2020 for the support of the most vulnerable categories (lege5.ro)
  • 09 July 2021: Summary of the program results (mfe.gov.ro)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Hot meal vouchers for elderly, case RO-2020-28/961 (measures in Romania), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.