Coronavirus response: more than €175.5 million to overcome the effects of the pandemic in Poland
The Commission has approved the modification of two operational programmes (OPs) under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative in Poland that will redirect more than €175.5 million cohesion funding to address the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s economy and health system. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, commented: “I welcome these new OP amendments in Poland. To date, Poland has reprogrammed a total of €2.6 billion of EU funds, which has proved crucial not only for helping frontline workers battling the virus, but also to support Polish businesses to overcome the crisis and boost the economic recovery.” The modification of the OP 2014-2020 for Łódzkie region will make available €18.84 million in the form of subsidies and loans for over 1,675 enterprises suffering from financial loss as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It will also provide €19.7 million to finance the extended scope of support to the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients, including the necessary personal and medical equipment as well as renovation and construction works in hospitals and social infrastructure for appropriate epidemic protection. Moreover, in the Silesia region, €43.7 million will support health workers, sanitary inspection activities and social services. Already 26 ambulances, 109 ventilators, 55 defibrillators, 382 infusion pumps, 453 hospital beds, 21 ultrasound machines, 15 x-ray machines have been bought for hospitals in the region, and personal protective equipment was purchased for 183 Regional Centers for Social Policy. Finally, €77.1 million was dedicated to support the liquidity of affected micro, Small and Medium-sized enterprises. 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 addition, the co-financing rate is temporarily increased to 100% to help beneficiaries overcome liquidity scarcity in the implementation of their projects.