Lo welcomes crisis fund for asylum seekers, migrants and refugees

Alliance South Belfast MLA, Anna Lo, has welcomed the announcement from the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister that a crisis fund will be set up to help asylum seekers, migrants and refugees. It will also help destitute asylum seekers whose application for refugee status has been declined but they cannot be sent back to their home country. A short pilot ran in 2012 which helped 1,252 people from 54 countries.

Anna Lo MLA said:”This is very good news that OFMDFM have given approval for this fund which followed a very successful pilot in 2012. This crisis fund will go a long way to help asylum seekers, migrants and refugees in Northern Ireland. It is long overdue but it must be properly managed.

“The measure of a good society is how we look after the most vulnerable. A number of organisations and churches have had to step in and provide support to these refugees and asylum seekers in the absence of Government support.

“A small amount of money can make an enormous difference to these people. In particular, to destitute asylum seekers who are often left in limbo with very few options and have difficulty accessing services.

“OFMDFM have not provided many details about this fund and how it will be delivered, but I hope it will be established quickly as there are a number of people who are in desperate need of support.

“I hope we will not see a repeat of the difficulties and delays that plagued the administration and management of the Minority Ethnic Development Fund which provided support to organisations who worked with minority ethnic groups and individuals.”


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