Minister Ahern welcomes IFI funding recommendation
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern T.D., has welcomed a recommendation that the US Administration contribute US$10.8m to the International Fund for Ireland next year.
The Appropriations' Committee of the House of Representatives voted to recommend this amount in Washington DC yesterday (Thursday). It follows January's launch by the Fund of a five year sunset strategy 'Sharing this Space' which orientates the organisation towards grassroots reconciliation work in Northern Ireland and the border counties.
'I am pleased that the Fund's friends in Washington have again demonstrated their faith in the organisation,” said Minister Ahern.
'I had the opportunity to personally thank the Fund's friends in Congress for their continued support while in Washington this week. Congressmen Jim Walsh and Chris Smith, to name but two, have been unstinting in their efforts on the IFI's behalf and are owed a debt of gratitude.
'The next five years will be vital to ensure a lasting legacy for the Fund and for 25 years of international engagement with the peace process. It is gratifying that the Fund's efforts to refocus and consolidate its activities have been met with such generosity. Once again the United States has demonstrated the importance of its relationship with Ireland and of our efforts to bring the peace process to a conclusion.'
Note to Editors:
The International Fund for Ireland is an international organisation established by the Irish and British Governments in 1986 with the objectives of promoting economic and social advance and of encouraging contact, dialogue and reconciliation between unionists and nationalists throughout Ireland.
Since its inception the US has contributed more than US$460m (€360m) to the Fund. The EU is the other main donor – contributing €15 million per year, while Canada contributes CAN$500,000. The Fund has spent more than €750m since 1986 on projects designed to address disadvantage and promote reconciliation in the 12 eligible counties. More than 15000 children and young people have participated in Fund programmes over the years.
26 May 2006