THE INTERNATIONAL FUND for Ireland has confirmed financial assistance of €5m that it says “will support peace building, integration and reconciliation projects in Northern Ireland and the six southern border counties”.
The fund is an independent international organisation that was established in 1986 by the British and Irish governments. So far it has provided almost €840m to a wide variety of projects and says these projects “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”.
The international donors to the fund are the European Union and the Governments of the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
One of the interventions to benefit from the funding is the Peace Walls Programme.
This first tranche of funding totals €1.45m and Dr Adrian Johnston, chairman of the fund, said:
The Peace Walls Programme will allow communities to progress at their own pace and tackle local issues with local solutions. The fund will also liaise with government departments and other funders to help communities to lever additional funding for the physical removal of peace walls and any associated infrastructure and community regeneration needs when the required levels of confidence have been established through the programme.
The latest funding package covers the final allocation of funding through the Integrating Community Organisations Programme of a further €1,346,111. This will see 11 new cross-border/cross-community projects funded.
Additional funding was also approved to extend four existing projects aimed at developing strong relationships in areas where there has been limited cross-community interaction.
The Community Based Economic and Social Regeneration Programme will provide €618,285 in additional assistance to extend or enhance five projects.
A further €228,600 has also been provided for additional training and mentoring for groups who participated in the Maximising Community Space Programme.
The Community Leadership Programme will receive up to €779,000 to continue building leadership and management capacity in community-based organisations and networks.
The Leaving a Legacy Programme will receive €417,373. The YMCA Lurgan will receive support towards youth and community relations activity.
Holywell Trust, in conjunction with a number of other community and community relations organisations in Derry, will receive funding to help develop new facilities that support and promote community relations efforts.
Ten pre-schools in counties Cavan and Monaghan will benefit from additional funding of €39,954 for the Respecting Differences Programme, while €180,000 has been committed towards the Community Relations in Schools (CRIS) Programme.