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€259m announced for revamped asylum seeker system and ending Direct Provision

The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderick O’Gorman has announced “a ground-breaking package of measures for his Department under Budget 2022.”

The measures include the provision of over a quarter billion euros, €259m, (an increase of €41m on Budget 2021) for International Protection Support and White Paper Transition supports.

In February 2021, a White Paper to End Direct Provision and to Establish a New International Protection Support Service was published, setting out how the Government will end Direct Provision and replace it with a new system of accommodation for people seeking international protection.

According to Minister O’Gorman, €28 million will be allocated in Budget 2022 to begin the process of transitioning applicants out of the current system of accommodation and into more appropriate housing in the community.

Minister O’Gorman said the Budget allocation will also focus on putting in place integration supports at a local level including an income support payment so that applicants can live their lives independently.

It will also put in place an integration fund to support applicants to integrate into their new communities and look to deliver benefits for the local community.

Commenting on the work to end Direct Provision, the Minister has said:

“I am committed to ending the unfair system of accommodation that is Direct Provision. I and my Department will work tirelessly to put in place an appropriate system of accommodation for all applicants and provide the necessary supports to allow for independent living that has the needs of applicants at its core. The White Paper was the first significant step in providing a roadmap for the transition to a new and fairer system which I am introducing with the support of our Government between now and the end of 2024.”

The Minister has also secured funding to allow for the delivery of a range of positive actions for Gender Equality, LGBTI+ and Traveller and Roma initiatives and to support the National Action Plan Against Racism. This includes:

A 10% increase in LGBTI+ related funding to €1.025m to cover continued funding for LGBTI+ organisations through the Community Services Fund, for research and for continued implementation of the National LGBTI+ Inclusion Strategy.

A 6% increase in funding for Traveller and Roma organisations and programmes, bringing the total to €5.6m.  This will cover funding for Traveller and Roma organisations, to promote employment for Travellers and Roma and to support the retention of Traveller children in education.

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