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Departmental Funding

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (277)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

277. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the 2022 budgetary allocation from his Department for the Reconciliation Fund. [53736/21]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Reconciliation Fund, which is administered by my Department, provides support for civil society organisations working to promote reconciliation and create better understanding between communities in Northern Ireland, between North and South, and between Ireland and Britain. The Fund has supported over 3,000 projects with more than €60 million in grant funding since its establishment in 1982.

The annual budget for the Fund was increased from €2.7 million to €3.7 million with effect from 2019. In the New Decade New Approach agreement which saw the restoration of devolved Government in Northern Ireland in January 2020, the Government committed to maintaining that level of funding.

In light of the Government’s continuing commitment to supporting the work of peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland, and recognising, in particular, the impact of Brexit and the effects of Covid-19 on the organisations we support, I am implementing further substantial increases in the budget during 2021-22. Already, the total of grants awarded in 2021 is likely to reach €4.0 million by the end of the year, and my intention is that this will increase to €5.0 million in 2022. This will represent a total increase of more than 80% in the budget of the Reconciliation Fund since 1 January 2019.

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