Further IFI Investment in Community Peacebuilding

Board members of the International Fund for Ireland, pictured from left to right: Bernie Butler, Avila Kilmurray, Chair Paddy Harte, and Anne Carr

Seventeen projects across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties have received £3,074,086/ €3,473,717 to deliver peace and reconciliation initiatives.

The funding from the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) enables peacebuilding efforts within some of the most marginalised communities who continue to live with the long-term impact of The Troubles.

The latest allocations will offer critical support at a grassroots level as many face the realities of austerity cuts and increasing polarization within communities.

Funding has been awarded across the Peace Impact Programme (PIP), Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP) and Communities in Partnership Programme (CIPP).

IFI Chair Paddy Harte says the support is vital in the current climate; “Projects are working against an incredibly challenging backdrop with recent funding cuts across the community sector and ongoing political instability both threatening to undo the progress that has been made in recent times.

“Communities are struggling with identity and culture issues alongside the legacy of The Troubles. Unfortunately, this vacuum provides an opportunity for paramilitary influence, recruitment of young people and anti-social behaviour.

“The IFI is committed to supporting those who need interventions most and we are one of the few organisations who are prepared to take those risks and reach those who have yet to receive direct benefit from the Peace Process.”

The Peace Impact Programme (PIP) has received £1,349,511/ €1,524,947 for six projects to deliver sensitive interventions in communities that have not previously, or have only partially, participated in peacebuilding and reconciliation activities.

The Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP), which provides uniquely tailored support for at-risk 16-25year olds, is supporting six projects with £735,109/ €830,673. PYDP aims to improve confidence and personal resilience in young people, helping them develop a better understanding of culture and identity, and grow practical skills to offer better employment opportunities.

Five projects under the Communities in Partnership Programme (CiPP), have been awarded £989,466/€1,118,097 to help build resilience and empower communities to build stronger, meaningful cross-border partnerships.

IFI Chair Paddy Harte continues; “In an important year of reflection around the Good Friday Agreement, we also recognise that the Peace Process has yet to deliver for some communities. We must examine what interventions are required over the next 25 years to make peace inclusive for all.

“Thanks to our international donors we will continue sensitive interventions and provide financial support to those hard-to-reach communities. This is challenging work, but thanks to the IFI, projects now have the means to provide positive leadership, invest in vital resources and community development opportunities to help create a shared future.”

The IFI was set up by the British and Irish Governments as an independent international organisation in 1986. It delivers a range of peace and reconciliation initiatives across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties. It currently supports a total of 50 projects in Northern Ireland and 23 in the southern border counties. 

The IFI’s International donors include the British and Irish Governments, Government of the United States of America, European Union, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The funding across IFI Programmes is as follows:

Peace Impact Programme£1,349,511€1,524,947
Personal Youth Development Programme£735,109€830,673
Communities in Partnership Programme£989,466€1,118,097