The Department of Foreign Affairs is responsible for two Votes – Vote 38 (Department of Foreign Affairs) and Vote 39 (International Co-operation). Details of the funding allocated by my Department for the provision of payments, facilities or services for those with physical or intellectual disabilities in 2003 are set out below.
Under Vote 38, the Communicating Europe Initiative, which is administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs, will allocate approximately €10,000 from subhead D to the Disability Federation of Ireland. The federation is holding a series of information workshops around Ireland to promote discussion about the European Union and Ireland's role in it and to provide practical information about how the Union works for its citizens. This project will continue until the end of July 2003. The Communicating Europe initiative also provided funding amounting to €9,845 in late 2002 for an ongoing information service on the National Disability Authority which will continue throughout 2003. In addition to providing information about the EU on disability-related issues, the NDA holds regular online question and answer sessions for site users with specific queries about the Union. The Deputy may also wish to note that the provision of services and facilities for those with disabilities is given priority in my Department's current building and refurbishment programmes.
Under subhead G of Vote 39, which relates to eastern Europe, €18,881 was allocated in 2003 to the Bulgarian Association for People with Intellectual Disabilities for the equipping of a centre in Bulgaria for the rehabilitation of people with intellectual disabilities. Later this year, the second payment of €217,336 from a total approved grant of €457,336, €240,000 of which was paid in 2002, will be made to a personal assistance service programme in Serbia. The objective of this programme is to support independent living and full civic participation of disabled people and their associations in Serbia. This relates to subhead B, the Balkans stability pact.