Housing, Local Government and Heritage Minister Darragh O’Brien and Rural and Community Development Minister Heather Humphreys today (Monday 4 April) welcomed the creation of Community Response Forums in each local authority area to coordinate local responses to the Ukrainian crisis.

Local community and volunteer groups across the country have mobilized in recent weeks to welcome people fleeing Ukraine into their communities.

As new arrivals begin to settle, each local authority has set up a community response forum to provide a coordination point for community and voluntary response in their area.

Effectiveness of rural community response

Minister Humphreys said: “These local forums worked very well during the early stages of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic and are best placed to put in place arrangements to help newcomers from Ukraine access services.

“Across government, we are doing everything we can to help Ukrainian nationals who have fled this devastating war. This grassroots approach is a key part of our global efforts and will be so important in the weeks and months to come.

Ministers have written to local authorities to set out a model of arrangements to be put in place in each area.

Complementary to supports and services provided by government agencies at the local level, the purpose of Community Response Forums will be to ensure effective communication and information sharing in coordinating local and voluntary community actions to provide community supports. to new Ukrainian communities.

Minister O’Brien said: “Local authorities are once again stepping in 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 newcomers from Ukraine to our communities.”

Minister of State for Communities and Charities, Joe O’Brien, said: “Each forum will strive to tap into the goodwill and support available within our communities, including industry resources community and volunteer to manage offers of help to ensure that the needs of those arriving are met.