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Departmental Funding

Dáil Éireann Debate, Friday - 3 December 2021

Friday, 3 December 2021

Questions (42, 73)

Steven Matthews


42. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth if he will consider a specific source of funding for local authorities to help fund integration projects and initiatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59239/21]

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Joe Flaherty


73. Deputy Joe Flaherty asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the strategy for the way his Department funds integration projects; the funding that has been made available in 2021 and 2022 in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59456/21]

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Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 73 together.

I can confirm that my Department supports integration projects, including by local authorities, through a number of funding streams.

Local authorities involved in the resettlement and integration of programme refugee families through the Irish Refugee Protection Programme receive funding by way of grants from my Department. Funding is for resettlement support teams comprising a resettlement support worker with social care and integration experience, and an Arabic-speaking intercultural support worker as well as for, inter alia, after-school programmes, programmes for teenagers, volunteer training and youth club activities.  In 2021, the Department expects to have paid €1.623m to local authorities for resettlement activities by the end of the year. In 2022, in addition to ongoing funding to local authorities, the Department expects to enter into new contracts valued at approximately €750,000 with three further local authorities.

In addition,  the Communities Integration Fund supports communities across Ireland to play a greater role in promoting the integration of all legally resident migrants and their children. In 2021, following a competitive open call, 111 local community-based organisations nationwide were selected to receive grant funding totaling €497,772 under the Communities Integration Fund.  The maximum amount granted per project was €5,000. Organisations eligible to apply included local community groups, sports clubs, faith-based groups, arts groups, formal and informal schools and theatrical and cultural organisations. Applicant organisations were required to operate on a not-for-profit basis. 

Under the National Integration Fund 2020, a total of €2.2 million has been made available over a three year period to support 18 integration projects nationwide. These projects aim to increase mutual understanding between local communities and migrants; combat racism and xenophobia; promote the integration of vulnerable or socially-excluded immigrants and encourage the involvement of migrants in sport, volunteering and cultural activities.

I also intend to explore, in 2022, the introduction of a pilot scheme for integration funding specifically for local authorities but this is at the very early stages of planning at present so I cannot provide any further detail at this time.