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Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 24 February 2021

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Questions (252)

Christopher O'Sullivan

Question:

252. Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if financial supports will be considered for community groups that have seen their community-based funding sources diminish during the pandemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10569/21]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Covid-19 Stability Fund, launched last Summer, initially provided €35 million in supports for charities, community groups and social enterprises and this was supplemented by a further €10 million in December 2020. Around 600 organisations have benefited from these significant supports, specifically aimed at addressing funding challenges for groups delivering important services for citizens and in many cases for vulnerable groups.

As the Deputy will be aware there are also a range of existing income and liquidity supports in place across Government, supporting organisations which operate across many sectors including the community sector.

I am advised that the Department of Rural and Community Development also operate a number of schemes which can benefit local community groups. In particular the Community Services Programme, with funding of almost €49 million available in 2021, supports over 400 community organisations throughout the county. A Covid-19 support fund is in place to support Community Services Programme funded organisations facing funding challenges due to Covid-19. In addition, in 2020, the Community Enhancement Fund supported over 3,000 projects including funding for childcare groups, recreational groups and elderly support groups, and there is funding of €4.5m available for this fund in 2021.

I should also bring the Deputy's attention to the recent announcement by Minister Humphreys of €800,000 to support the regeneration of social enterprises, to help them recover from the devastating impact of Covid-19 on their activities. The programme, which is funded through the Dormant Accounts Fund, will provide free training and mentoring to social enterprise managers, directors and staff across the country.

In conclusion, the Government has provided and is continuing to provide a range of sectoral and horizontal Covid supports for the community sector. The ongoing requirement for such supports will be kept under review by Government.

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