Written answers

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Refugee Status

Photo of Joe O'BrienJoe O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Green Party)
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266. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the breakdown of the cost and number of refugees who have arrived here to date through the community sponsorship initiative. [19383/20]

Photo of Helen McEnteeHelen McEntee (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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Community Sponsorship Ireland is a new community based sponsorship programme which invites members of the public to play a key role in the integration of refugees into Irish society. Under the programme, private citizens and community based organisations provide direct support and assistance to refugees settling in their locality through a structured programme of supports. 

To date, eight refugee families (30 individuals) have arrived in Ireland under the Community Sponsorship Ireland (CSI) initiative and have been warmly received by their host communities. A further nine communities have been approved as Community Sponsorship Groups and are now actively undergoing the required training from their respective Regional Support Organisation. An additional application has been received from a community organisation and is currently awaiting recognition as a Community Sponsorship Group.

To provide supports for groups wishing to set up a Community Sponsorship Group in their area, funding is being provided for a number of Regional Support Organisations based around the country. I hope that more communities will come forward and support this rewarding initiative, which empowers refugee families and local communities alike.

In terms of costs, my Department covers the flights, together with grants provided to Regional Support Organisations (RSO).  RSOs have a multi-dimensional role including promotion of the Community Sponsorship programme, being a point of information for local services and support and training for Community Sponsorship Groups.

To date this year (to end June), the following grants have been provided to RSOs:

Irish Refugee Council: €46,789
NASC: €50,000
Waterford Leader Partnership: €17,000

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