Dáil Éireann - Volume 623 - 04 July, 2006

Written Answers. - World Refugee Day.

Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the measures [496] the Government has taken to celebrate world refugee day; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25779/06]

  Mr. McDowell:My Department, through the Reception and Integration Agency, (RIA) has had a long association with the celebration of world refugee day. The agency has, over the years, worked in close association with many groups to mark this significant day in the calendar of refugee events. In cooperation with the UNHCR, RIA has organised many imaginative events around the various themes of world refugee day including short story and poetry competitions.

Each year RIA provides funding through its small grants scheme to voluntary organisations and NGOs to help them organise events country-wide. For example, funding was provided this year for a project by the Irish Refugee Council, Ennis showcasing cross-cultural talents, and an intercultural music festival organised by the Donegal Fáilte project. As has been the tradition, RIA was also one of the sponsors of the World Refugee Day Awards event organised by the Africa Centre.