​​​​​​​Ukraine Crisis:  Community Response Forum in each area to coordinate local measures welcoming Ukrainians

Brigid Geoghegan
Brigid Geoghegan • 4 April 2022

Ukraine Crisis:  Community Response Forum in each area to coordinate local measures welcoming Ukrainians

  • Ministers Humphreys and O’Brien, and Ministers of State Burke and O’Brien welcome Community Response Forums being established in each local authority
  • Local Authorities to coordinate responses on the ground

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD, along with Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD today welcomed the establishment of Community Response Forums in every local authority area to coordinate local responses to the Ukraine crisis.

Local community and voluntary groups around the country have been mobilising in recent weeks to welcome into their communities people who are fleeing Ukraine.   As the new arrivals begin to settle in, each local authority has established a Community Response Forum to provide a co-ordination point for the community and voluntary response in their area. 

 

Minister Humphreys said

These local forums worked very well during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic response and are best placed to put arrangements in place to help the new arrivals from Ukraine access services”.

She added:

“Right across Government, we are doing all we can to assist Ukrainian nationals who have fled this devastating war. This approach at local level is a key part of our overall efforts and will be so important in the weeks and months to come.”

 

The Ministers have written to local authorities setting out a template for arrangements to be in place in each area. Building on structures and relationships which were highly effective during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Community Response Fora will enable all those involved to work together under the stewardship of the local authority. Supplementing the supports and services being provided by government agencies at a local level, their purpose will be to ensure effective communication and information sharing in the coordination of local community and voluntary actions in providing community supports to the new Ukrainian communities.

 

Minister O’Brien said:

Local authorities are stepping up once again 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 new arrivals from Ukraine into our communities”

 

Minister of State for Communities and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD said:Each Forum will work to harness the goodwill and assistance available within our communities, including the resources of the community and voluntary sector to manage offers of assistance to ensure that the often complex needs of those arriving are met”.  

Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD added:

The Forum will bring together all of the public, community and voluntary organisations active locally, as well as the Cathaoirleach or Mayor of each local authority.  It will also be of central importance that members of the local Ukrainian community are fully involved”.

ENDS

Contact:

The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office

01-7736843 / 086-791 2704

Press.office@drcd.gov.ie

 

Editors Notes

 Intensive work has been underway across Government over the past number of weeks preparing a humanitarian response to the needs of the thousands of Ukranian people who are expected to arrive in Ireland over the coming weeks. 

  • The focus to date has been primarily on the key issues of accommodation, welfare supports and health care services. 
  • There is also a clear need to co-ordinate the community and voluntary sector response and to start focussing on the integration supports and social supports which will be needed for this population in the medium and longer term.