Thursday, 14 October 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
Community Development Projects
67. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if additional funding will be provided for the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme which is delivered by local development companies and is of great importance to many individuals and organisations in rural communities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50084/21]
The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) aims to reduce poverty and promote social inclusion and equality by supporting rural and urban communities and individuals using community development approaches, engagement and collaboration.
My Department is providing SICAPfunding in excess of €220 million over six years (2018-2023). This year over €39 million was allocated to the programme, supporting front line workers in Local Development Companies to deliver SICAPon the ground.
The programme does vital work in helping individuals and groups, by improving the life chances of those who are marginalised in society, living in poverty or unemployed. Indeed, since 2018, the programme has supported over 80,000 individuals and 6,200 Local Community Groups. SICAPalso supports Social Enterprises - in 2020 for example, 448 Social Enterprises received support though the programme. In addition, it supports collective community engagement and the development of more sustainable and stronger communities, improving the quality of life of those facing social exclusion and inequality.
The funding for SICAPis subject to the annual budgetary estimates process and I am delighted to have secured a 10 per cent increase for SICAPfor 2022, the largest increase since the programme was launched. This represents a €4 million increase and provides for the creation of a significant number of job places for new community work on the ground in communities across Ireland. It will allow for engagement with groups that are currently under-represented on the programme, including Travellers, Roma, people with a disability and new communities. This will have a positive impact for our communities in 2022 and beyond.