Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth | National Integration efforts
To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the extent to which efforts continue in relation to integration with particular reference to the need to ensure maximum efforts throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Migrant Integration Strategy (MIS) was launched in 2017 and concluded at the end of 2021, having been extended for a year due to the impact of COVID-19. The Strategy forms the central policy framework adopted by the Government to promote the integration of all migrants and their Irish-born children across various areas of public policy. The Strategy aims to enhance diversity, inclusion and equity for migrants across all aspects of Irish society. Additionally, the Strategy focuses on social inclusion measures, improved access to public services and aims to address racism and xenophobia and support integration and social cohesion at a local level.
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has commissioned a joint evaluation of the Migrant Integration Strategy, alongside the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy and the National Strategy for Women and Girls which also concluded in 2021.
The Programme for Government has committed to developing a successor to the Migrant Integration Strategy, and consultations will begin in 2023 and will include input from first generation migrants as well as the second and third generation.
A range of funding programmes have been initiated under the MIS to support integration projects nationwide. These include the National Integration Fund and the Communities Integration Fund.
The DCEDIY administers the National Integration Fund – a three-year funding programme to promote initiatives to address areas where migrants find it difficult to avail of opportunities on an equal basis with other members of Irish society. Following a competitive funding call launched in August 2020, 18 successful projects located throughout Ireland will be granted funding totaling almost €2.2 million over the three-year period.
In June 2022, 124 community projects received funding through the Communities Integration Fund. A total of €566,492.60 will be given to local community-based organisations in the form of grants up to €5,000. These grants will be used to support local organisations allowing them to play a role in welcoming and integrating migrants and refuges into Ireland. The Communities Integration Fund is disbursed annually through an open funding call.
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