Anna Lo MLA said: “It is completely unacceptable for the First and deputy First Ministers to continue to ignore important questions on ethnic minorities. We have seen a continuation in hate crimes, with some particularly horrendous incidents in recent weeks, it is outrageous that OFMDFM has not provided information on what they are doing to provide support to ethnic minorities and tackle racism. In their silence, OFMDFM is not reassuring ethnic minority communities that they are valued and will be protected.
“It is now over six months since the consultation closed on the Racial Equality Strategy, yet there is no word on when it will be implemented or what resources it will be given to meet its targets. The only assumption we can make is that this is not a priority for their Department.
“OFMDFM finally published a call for applications for the next round of funding for the Minority Ethnic Development Fund five days before the previous round was due to finish at the end of March. Organisations have been left high and dry, waiting for up to two months until the end of May to know whether they will be funded retrospectively from April. This is not how a government department should act.”