International Fund for Ireland announce funding for peacebuilding initiatives

IFI Board members (L-R) Peter Osborne, Avila Kilmurray, Sadie Ward McDermott, Bernie Butler, IFI Chair Paddy Harte and Anne Carr

Eleven projects across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties have received funding of £1,172,890 / €801,925 from the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), aimed at supporting them to deliver peace and reconciliation efforts in local communities.

The funding, which will be allocated through three of the IFI programmes – Personal Youth Development Programme, (PYDP) Peace Impact Programme (PIP) and Communities in Partnership Programme (CiPP) will be used to further support important peacebuilding and community relations efforts.

The funding includes a blend of extensions to existing projects aimed at advancing important work while other projects are being funded for the first time after identifying need in local areas.

IFI Chair Paddy Harte (left) with US Ambassador to Ireland Claire D. Cronin (back row, right) and US Observers to the IFI, Tom Foley and Stella O’Leary. 

Chair of the IFI, Paddy Harte welcomed the latest allocation of funding:

“Supporting people working in their local communities consistently demonstrate their ability to understand and address the needs of their local area. We are seeing more projects identifying innovative and creative opportunities for engagement and dialogue between communities, encouraging cooperation and relationship building.

“We are continuing to see tensions between and within communities in Northern Ireland and the southern border counties, specifically relating to culture, identity, and legacy, further exasperated with the lack of the Northern Ireland Executive. Our young people continue to be at risk from paramilitary recruitment and criminal influence and this funding will ensure that support is targeted at those who really need it.

“This grassroots support is critical to developing sustainable peace and reconciliation, particularly in some of our most divided communities and the IFI is committed to supporting these projects.”

The Peace Impact Programme (PIP) received £419,967/€556,074 across five projects which will 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) received £405,927/€129,236 allocated across three projects. The focus for these projects will be 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.

The Communities in Partnership Programme (CiPP) was allocated a total of £346,996/€116,615 which will go to three projects aimed at helping to build resilience and empower communities to build stronger, meaningful cross-border partnerships.

The eleven projects will work across communities in Armagh, Tyrone, Leitrim, Louth, Antrim, Fermanagh,  Cavan, Derry-Londonderry, Donegal, and Monaghan.

The IFI was set up by the British and Irish Governments as an independent international organisation in 1986 and is supported by international donors – British and Irish Governments, government of the United States of America, European Union, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The organisation delivers a range of peace and reconciliation initiatives across Northern Ireland and the southern border counties, currently supporting a total of 46 projects in Northern Ireland and 20 in the southern border counties.