Current Affairs
Funds from Norway to be used in Malta to detect rare disease found in newborns

Malta is set to start implementing various social projects  thanks to 8 million Euro in funds from Norway and other countries from the European economic zone. The project, according to the priorities agreed upon between the two sides, will be carried out in various sectors including at Mater Dei,  Aġenzija Appoġġ and local councils.

A rare condition known in brief as PKU, of which there are two cases every year in Malta, will now be able to be caught in time thanks to the screening of newborn babies so that it can be addressed immediately to prevent the condition from emerging in the child in the future.

The screening will start after the Health Department benefitted from Norwegian and other European funds to implement, among other things, projects in favour of social equality, one of the priorities agreed upon between the Maltese Government and governments of the European Economic zone.

Another project will be carried out by Aġenzija Appoġġ entitled “Opportunity Knocks” which is aimed at vulnerable people who are at risk of social exclusion and another by Heritage Malta to digitize around 2,600 exhibits so that it can upload them online.

The Director General for the Department of European Programme and Funds, Raphael Scerri, said that the projects are carried out according to agreements between the various parties with emphasis on how to address issues such as poverty and social exclusion.

“This will be implemented through projects which vary, from new health services which we do not yet have, and which will be  introduced within the next few days, social services from the Foundation for the Protection of Social Services and even various other projects which will be implemented by urban local councils shortly.”

This Department will ensure that the funds are utilized according to the agreement and that the eight million Euro are all utilized.

Norway’s Ambassador to Malta, Margit Tveitan, has praised the efficient way in which Maltese authorities use the funds which are given to our country.

“Now for the new programme period we see that social inclusion and the reduction of social disparities and to protect vulnerable people in society those are principles which will be a the forefront in the coming period and that’s something that we as one of the donors are very pleased to see,” said Ambassador Tveitan.

Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia said that a social Europe is the key to the various challenges including an aging population, the sustainability of social benefits and digital transformation. He added that these funds can help with the necessary investments to reduce Eurosceptic and populist forces which are on the increase.

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