For Oral Answer on : 17/11/2022
Question Number(s): 94 Question Reference(s): 56524/22
Department: Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Children; Equality; Disability; Integration and Youth the progress that has been made to date under the community sponsorship programme; his plans to further develop the programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As the Deputy will be aware, Community Sponsorship Ireland (CSI) was established in 2018 as a complementary integration and resettlement stream to the traditional state-centred model. The unique feature of the programme is that it enables a local community directly to support a refugee family.
To date, 116 persons have been settled with Community Sponsorship Groups (CSGs) across Ireland, with this figure being made up of 31 family groups.
Grant agreements are in place for Regional Support Organisations (RSOs) which have been set up by my Department to assist with the implementation of Community Sponsorship Initiatives, supporting community groups in the provision of integration supports to programme refugees resettled directly into these communities.
On an operational level, engagement with the National Implementation Partners for the Programme continues on an ongoing basis, with the most recent meeting with these Partners being held on 2 November 2022.
In terms of the future direction of the Programme, I can inform the Deputy that I intend to agree further agreements with RSOs before the end of this year to continue funding through to December 2023. This funding will be supported through the EU’s Asylum Migration and Integration Fund.
The Deputy may also wish to note that families from the upcoming IRPP selection mission to Beirut will be specifically interviewed and considered for support under the Programme.