- Minister pledges his support for co-ordinated local action to help those fleeing war in line with the Government’s overall humanitarian response
- Call for the same spirit we saw during the response to COVID
- Commitment to allow flexibility in schemes and programmes so people are freed up to work with new arrivals
- Role of Local Development Companies and other local organisations discussed
- Over 150 stakeholders attend special online information session
Minister of State for Communities and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, met with over 150 stakeholders from local government, local and community development and the volunteer sector. Minister O’Brien convened the meeting to discuss the community response to the Ukraine crisis.
The Minister recalled how during the pandemic, the community call initiative led by the Local Authorities, leveraged successful collaboration between Local Authorities and community and voluntary groups to provide structure and focus to communities wishing to assist at a time of crisis.
Today’s meeting was timely in the context of the Government’s work to ensure that local capacity, resources and knowledge are brought to bear on the overall humanitarian response. Government is working closely with Local Authorities to ensure a well-co-ordinated and seamless approach. This will provide a structure to draw fully on the capability, know-how and reach of the Community and Voluntary Sector.
As those fleeing war arrive into the country, and as the integration process happens, they will need a range of services such as information on rights and entitlements, and linkages to relevant agencies locally. Supports will also need to be identified and co-ordinated around Childcare, Housing, Schools, GP registration, English classes etc.
Hosting the information session, Minister O’Brien said: “I don’t have to say too much about what we have seen unfolding in Ukraine, suffice to say that there is universal revulsion and the realisation that in whatever way we can respond, we must respond.”
Calling on the spirit shown during the COVID crisis, the Minister went on to say: “My commitment to you is that we will do all we can to support you in what you are doing. I remember clearly how we worked together during COVID, how the Community and Voluntary Sector, local and national government and Public Participation Networks joined forces and did what needed to be done. We see the best of ourselves when the need is greatest and I am sure we will get through another crisis with collaboration and spirit.”