By David Young, PA
Localised forums to coordinate responses to the Ukrainian refugee crisis are being established throughout Ireland.
The Government announced that each local authority in the country will establish a community response forum to help organise efforts to accommodate and support the thousands of Ukrainians arriving.
The model is similar to that which was used at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic to help coordinate the work of community and voluntary groups.
The initiative has been welcomed by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien and Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys.
“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,” said Ms Humphreys.
“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 given the local authorities setting out a template for arrangements to be in place in each area.
Supplementing the supports and services being provided by government agencies at a local level, the forums will work to coordinate community and voluntary efforts.
Mr O’Brien added: “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.”