Rural and Community Development | Addressing Deprivation in all regions
To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which all regions throughout the country continue to be the subject matter of examination by her Department, with a view to addressing issues of deprivation; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Through extensive contact with local authorities, local development companies and community development organisations across the country, my Department seeks to be constantly aware of issues of disadvantage and delivers many programmes and schemes that target disadvantage is a targeted way.
For example, my Department has responsibility for the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), is our country’s primary social inclusion programme. The programme provides funding to tackle poverty and social exclusion at a local level through local engagement and partnerships between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations and public sector agencies.
SICAP is managed at a local level by 33 Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs), with support from local authorities. It is implemented nationally by 46 Local Development Companies (LDCs) across 51 areas (Lots).
Earlier this year, my Department launched the Empowering Communities Programme (ECP), a €2 million programme aimed at specifically targeting area-based deprivation through a community development approach. The ECP focuses on 14 small areas identified throughout the country using the Pobal HP deprivation index which are experiencing significant disadvantage. The areas selected provide a broad geographic spread and the ECP programme will focus on these small areas as the target population for the intervention.
The Pobal HP Deprivation Index, informed by census data, enables Government to more effectively target resources and services to the most disadvantaged and is a vital tool for many Government Departments, including my Department. My officials work closely with Pobal to ensure the available data is used when allocating funds to schemes and programmes.
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