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budget 2023

'Huge' challenge to provide for refugees this year as State estimates €850m spend

Further funding will have to be sought for accommodating refugees from Ukraine and other countries, says minister

FURTHER FUNDING WILL be sought to meet the accommodation needs refugees from Ukraine and other regions, Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman has said. 

Speaking to reporters in Government Buildings today, the minister said Ireland is currently housing 52,000 refugees from Ukraine and other countries, stating that it “remains a huge challenge”. 

Last year, his department was housing just 8,000 people, he said. 

He said €213 million is being allocated to cover costs in relation to international protection accommodation.

The focus will be on transitioning to a new model with expanded State-owned capacity and a greater focus on commissioning NGOs and not for profit organisations to provide services and supports, particularly to vulnerable applicants for international protection, he said. 

“For this reason, the allocation for the team implementing the White Paper to End Direct Provision and to establish a new International Protection Support Service is increasing by 41% to €22m, up from €15.6m in 2022,” he said. 

The minister said he will have to seek extra funding through supplementary estimates process “in the near future” to address the significant costs arising from housing Ukrainians and the additional people who have sought protection from other countries since the start of the year. 

The minister put the figure at €850 million for 2022, in terms of Ukraine and the additional arrivals under international protection.

Minister McGrath set aside a Ukraine fund for 2023 “and my department will no doubt be drawing from that next year”, he said. 

O’Gorman added that he plans to roll out integration officers in every local authority next year to help refugees arriving deal with the challenges they are facing. 

When asked about whether he was satisfied with the quality of accomodation for refugees arriving from Ukraine, the minister said the “accomodation is diverse in its quality”.

He said there is a wide range of quality due to the “huge pressure we are under meeting the needs” of those displaced from Ukraine and other regions where people are seeing international protection. uk and int prot app 

O’Gorman said his department seeks to provide shelter and safety and it is not always what they would like it to be. 

“The quality isn’t what we would all wish for,” he added. 


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