The aim of FAST-CARE is to signal ongoing support for countries hosting Ukrainian refugees

EU steps up aid to countries hosting Ukrainian refugees

EU steps up aid to countries hosting Ukrainian refugees

The FAST-CARE package comes at a time of growing needs and concerns and in the context of the ongoing war in the European neighbourhood

Earlier today, the European Commission mobilized to offer increased support to member states that are bearing the brunt of the Ukrainian refugee influx while also suffering from shaken economic outlook and growing energy prices. The result is the FAST-CARE package of funds and regulations, which will boost the support provided by Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE).

The FAST addition stands for ‘Flexible Assistance to Territories’, and as its name suggests its purpose is to provide resilience and adaptability to host countries facing an unprecedented mix of crises.

Defending the need for the upgrade in the CARE assistance, the Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferrerira said the following: “The consequences of Russia's unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine are growing by the day. Today, with our FAST-CARE proposals, we step up our assistance by proposing additional flexibility and more means under Cohesion Policy to integrate third country nationals and support those who are doing it first-hand. These proposals will also contribute to mitigate the combined negative impact of COVID-19 and of the war in the implementation of programmes.”

Funding support and doing it effectively

The package introduces three changes to the 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy legislation to further speed up and simplify Member States' support for the integration of third country nationals while continuing to help regions' recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • More support for those welcoming displaced people – Member States, local authorities and civil society organizations. This includes an increase in pre-financing payments by an additional 3.5 billion euros to be paid in 2022 and 2023. The cross-financing possibility will be extended to also include the Cohesion Fund. And member states may increase the aid to support the basic needs of refugees from 40 to 100 euros per week per person. They may claim these costs for a period of up to 26 weeks;
  • Ensuring that investments go where they are needed. At least 30% of the resources mobilised by the flexibilities provided should be granted to operations managed by local authorities and civil society organisations operating in local communities. What’s more, the programmes can support operations even outside the geographical scope of the local operations (as long as it is within the borders of the same country). This will allow helping refugees who move from one place to another;
  • Practical support to solve the problem of delayed implementation of projects. This refers to projects above 1 million euros (for example, in the construction sector), supported under the 2014-2020 programmes but which could not be completed in time due to price increases, shortages of raw materials and labour force. Such projects may continue to be supported under the 2021-2027 programmes.

Today's legislative proposals further extend the support of the Commission to stakeholders. They optimise the effective use of the funds and address further needs of Member States and regional and local authorities following the war in Ukraine.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU