Alliance Councillor Kate Nicholl has described the closure of a local group designed to promote race relations as devastating.
The Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities (NICEM) announced it would be closing down through voluntary administration due to financial pressures. The organisation worked to support racial equality and achieve the elimination of racial discrimination.
Councillor Nicholl said she had worked closely with NICEM for many years, both in her current role and while working in the constituency office of former Alliance MLA Anna Lo.
“This is devastating news, both for those coming to this country and the wider sector. As NICEM was the umbrella organisation for ethnic minorities, it provided much policy expertise and funding application advice for smaller groups, who often don’t have designated officers to rely on.
“It is shocking and deeply concerning NICEM can close its doors due to financial cuts, despite years of excellent work.
“Many ethnic minorities often face disadvantage in areas such as education or employment. NICEM worked to decrease that and help people integrate better. It is vital the closure of that organisation does not mean barriers remain.”