The International Fund for Ireland has confirmed £1.3m/€1.56m of financial assistance for a range of new projects aimed at addressing contentious issues and community tensions in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties.
The funding, approved at the organisation’s recent Board Meeting in Dundalk, will go towards 17 rural and urban initiatives that seek to create new options for marginalised young people and open new discussions on complex issues relating to identity and the conflict.
The projects are supported through the Fund’s Peace Impact Programme which was launched last year as part of the organisation’s Community Transformation Strategy. In 18 months, the programme has assisted communities with limited peace building experience to establish effective ways to reduce local tensions and support young people who could be drawn towards unlawful activity.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said:
“We are proud to partner with 17 groups in this latest round of funding. Many are making the first efforts to engage with marginalised individuals – particularly young people – and groups who remain disconnected from government interventions. These projects will challenge root causes of sectarianism and we recognise their potential to positively impact on social stability and prosperity.
“In its first 18 months, the Peace Impact Programme, which is funded by the US, has brought forward ambitious new approaches to deal with complex topics like parading, interface tensions and encouraging young people away from paramilitaries. Community groups are willing to take necessary risks and their attempts to encourage positive change in difficult areas has brought impressive results.”
He added: “Many communities simply can’t afford to wait for political parties to reach agreement on divisive topics and, with the support of the Fund and others, are undertaking brave efforts to deal with contentious issues on the ground.”
The Chairman took the opportunity to thank the international donors to the Fund – the European Union and the Governments of the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand – for their support.
The latest funding package includes commitments:
The Peace Impact Programme aims to build sustainable peace and reconciliation within and between communities suffering from high levels of economic and social deprivation; where there have been low levels of engagement in peace building; and where there remains a continued risk of instability and violence.
Since it was formed in 1986, the Fund has provided more than £713m/€895m to a wide variety of projects that focus on promoting social and economic advance and creating the conditions for Unionists and Nationalists to learn, work and live together as part of a peaceful and shared future.
Further information about all the beneficiaries from the International Fund for Ireland’s latest funding package is available at the International Fund for Ireland’s website: www.internationalfundforireland.com
For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.
International Fund for Ireland
28-32 Alfred St.
+44 (0)28 9031 2884