Community forums set up to coordinate Ireland’s refugee response

Localized forums to coordinate responses to the Ukrainian refugee crisis are being set up across Ireland.

The government has announced that each local authority in the country will set up a community response forum to help organize efforts to welcome and support the thousands of Ukrainians arriving.

The model is similar to one that was used at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to help coordinate the work of community and volunteer groups.

The initiative was welcomed by Minister of Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD and Minister of Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys.

“These local forums worked very well during the early stages of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic and are best placed to put in place arrangements to help newcomers from Ukraine access services,” said Ms. Humphreys.

“Across government, we are doing everything we can to help Ukrainian nationals who have fled this devastating war.

“This grassroots approach is a key part of our global efforts and will be so important in the weeks and months to come.”

Ministers gave local authorities a model of arrangements to be put in place in each area.

Complementing the supports and services provided by government agencies at the local level, the forums will work to coordinate community and volunteer efforts.

Mr O’Brien added: “Local authorities are once again stepping in to lead the local response to what is a very complex and rapidly evolving situation.

“They will coordinate local efforts very effectively and ensure that every effort is made to welcome newcomers from Ukraine to our communities.”

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