Dáil Éireann - Volume 569 - 25 June, 2003

Written Answers. - National Drugs Strategy.

  293. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the extent to which his Department has provided assistance to date to communities combating the drugs problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18112/03]

[967]   Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Mr. N. Ahern): As the Deputy is aware, my Department has overall responsibility for co-ordinating the implementation of the national drugs strategy 2001-08.

  My Department also has responsibility for the work of the 14 local drugs task forces – LDTFs, which were established in 1997 in the areas experiencing the highest levels of drug misuse. The LDTFs prepare local action plans based on their identified priorities, which are funded from my Department. In total, the Government has allocated or spent more than €65 million to implement around 500 projects contained in the plans of the task forces since 1997.

  In addition, funding of more than €11.5 million has been allocated to LDTF areas under the premises initiative, and a further €59 million has been allocated under the young people's facilities and services fund in task force areas and selected urban areas where a drug problem exists or has the potential to develop.