THE International Fund for Ireland has committed more than one million Euros (€1,194,978/£995,742) towards a dozen peace projects in Northern Ireland and four southern border counties.
The announcement was made following the International Fund for Ireland’s recent Board Meeting which took place in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal.
The financial commitment will be distributed among rural and urban projects designed to resolve complex and sensitive issues and re-engage communities in peace building activities.
All 12 projects are supported through the Fund’s Peace Impact Programme (PIP) which aims to build peace and prosperity within areas where there have been low levels of engagement in peace building and also places emphasis on engaging with disaffected and marginalised young people that are vulnerable to recruitment or attack by paramilitaries.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Adrian Johnston Chairman of the Fund, said: “The Peace Impact Programme is an important and timely aspect of our Community
Transformation strategy and this is the first time in almost 28 years that the Fund has allocated a funding round commitment through just one programme.
“The projects we have made commitments towards today are dealing with the hard issues and complex problems that threaten to undermine political stability and the gains of the peace process. Many of these projects are making the first efforts to engage with marginalised individuals – particularly young people – and groups who remain disconnected from government interventions.
He added: “This assistance strategically concentrates on some of the root causes of sectarianism and supports communities to resolve difficult issues. These projects are about developing positive solutions that are agreeable for communities and statutory authorities and which can deliver stability and prosperity.”
A number of the projects will encourage new cross-community and cross-border partnerships that span two or more counties, these include:
• €119,865/£99,888 to Fountain Street Community Development Association to deliver a 19-month project targeted at large numbers of disaffected young people in Strabane, County Tyrone and the villages of Clady in County Londonderry/Derry and Glebe in County Antrim.
• €118,293/£98,578 to deliver a “Whole Town” peace building project in Newtownbutler and surrounding areas. Newtownbutler Together will partner with Youth Work Ireland in Monaghan to work with a range of age groups on the cross-community project.
• €138,150/£115,120 towards a 19-month programme of activities to encourage the minority Protestant community in Donegal, Tyrone and Londonderry/Derry to engage in community development and capacity building programmes. It will be delivered by the Tyrone, Derry and Donegal Action group.
The International Fund for Ireland’s ‘Community Transformation: Strategic Framework for Action’ is available to download from: www.internationalfundforireland.com