Less than half of €15m funds for refugees drawn down
Less than half of the €15m in EU funds available to Ireland between 2007 and 2012 to support groups working with migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees was drawn down.
In the period, Ireland was allocated over €8m under the European Refugee Fund (ERF) and approximately €7m under the European Integration Fund (EIF).
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said in the period 2008 to 2012, 48% of the funding allocation under the ERF was drawn down, and that between 2007 and 2012, Ireland drew down 46% of the funding allocation under the EIF.
The department said “not enough suitable projects” came forward with necessary match-funding, which has to be sourced by projects.
Edel McGinley, director of Migrant Rights Centre Ireland said:
“I am actually quite shocked to learn that this money wasn’t drawn down. Resources were scarce during the deep austerity years and everyone was struggling for money. Entire communities could have benefited from this money.”
The ERF is intended for NGOs and other bodies to implement integration initiatives with a focus on areas such as education, health, community development, promoting access to services and provision of training for service providers.
The EIF is to support initiatives for newly-arrived and legally resident Non-EU Nationals (excluding asylum seekers and refugees) of different cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds, to facilitate their integration into Irish society.
The office for the promotion of migrant integration, in the Department of Justice, is the responsible authority for the funds.
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