Thursday, 17 November 2022
Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
72. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the way that his Department is supporting all those who have arrived seeking international protection to date in 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56701/22]
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) mobilises a significant and holistic response to fulfill its duty to provide accommodation to those seeking refuge in Ireland. Under the Recast Reception Conditions Directive (SI 230 of 2018), the Department has a legal role to provide accommodation to international protection applicants (IPAs) who seek it while their claim for international protection is being determined by the Department of Justice.
As of 6 November 2022, there are 16,908 people accommodated in the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) system as a whole. At this time last year, the State was accommodating approximately 7,250 persons in the IPAS system. The average arrival figure for IPAs for the 3 year period from 2017 to 2019 was 3,500. Since 1 January 2022 over 12,300 IPAs applicants have arrived in Ireland. In the past 12 months 13,700 IPAs have arrived.
From the moment that a person seeking international protection (IP) arrives, a variety of services are offered through the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS).
When IP applicants arrive they are provided an orientation service. This includes a vulnerability assessment, medical screening, COVID-19 vaccination, registration with the Department of Social Protection and the provision of a medical card. A general cultural orientation is also delivered through the Jesuit Refugee Service’s “Failte” programme.
IP applicants are also provided with a health assessment by the on-site HSE team. Once an applicant is medically cleared, they are provided with appropriate accommodation across the network of IPAS accommodation centres. Any IP applicant residing in IPAS accommodation is entitled to a medical card and IPAS advises their HSE liaison (seconded to IPAS) in advance of residents being accommodated.
People who have been granted a protection status or permission to remain are supported by a dedicated IPAS unit which works intensively with funded organisations like the Peter McVerry Trust, DePaul and the Jesuit Refugee Service, to move into housing within the community. The unit also works closely with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and the City and County Manager's Association (CCMA) in this regard. The total figure for persons with status in IPAS accommodation is 4,625.