Dáil Éireann - Volume 492 - 17 June, 1998
Written Answers. - Voluntary Organisation Funding.
Dr. Upton Dr. Upton
76. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the voluntary organisations funded by his Department in the latest year for which information is available; the amount provided; and the purpose of this funding. [14608/98]
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Andrews) David Andrews
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Andrews): The following are details of voluntary organisations which are funded from the Vote of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Vote for International Co-operation. From the Vote for the Department of Foreign Affairs, £470,000 was provided in 1998 to the Cultural Relations Committee,  which makes grants to give support to Irish cultural activities of excellence in other countries. In deciding on the activities to be assisted, attention is also given to their potential to promote tourism and investment from abroad.
The Department makes an annual contribution of £7,000 to the Irish United Nations Association, which is a voluntary organisation whose aim is to promote greater awareness of the UN organisation and its programmes.
The Department supports the Institute of European Affairs by making an annual £1,000 subscription towards corporate membership. The institute aims to provide an independent forum for the development of Irish strategic policy responses to the process of European integration through research, publications, expert working groups, briefings and seminars. The institute's activities have been of general benefit to this Department and its publications are made available to missions overseas.
The Department supports the work of the European Movement, Ireland — formerly known as the Irish Council of the European Movement — through an annual grant in aid. A grant of £7,000 was made in 1997 and a similar allocation is provided for in 1998. The European Movement disseminates information to the public about Europe and has developed a network of nine branches around the country which work to raise awareness of EU issues. It also hosts public briefing sessions on issues of interest on the European agenda.
A total of £252,000 was provided in grants this year to organisations promoting reconciliation and mutual understanding between North and South or between Britain and Ireland — the Reconciliation Fund. The 1998 grants were made last month. The allocations made to individual organisations are set out below.
Funding of £1,495,930 was provided in 1997 to the cross-Border NGO, Co-operation North, in its capacity as a designated intermediary funding body under the European Union Programme for Peace and Reconciliation, 1995 to 1999. Under the programme, Co-operation North is responsible for the provision of grants for the promotion of cross-Border business and cultural linkages.
With regard to support for Irish immigrant groups abroad, funding is provided on an annual basis to assist organisations in the USA and Australia with the provision of information, advice and outreach services for Irish citizens in these  countries. The amount allocated for this purpose for 1998 is £169,000. In 1997 £186,000 was expended on the following Irish immigrant groups in the USA and Australia:
From the Vote for International Co-operation, in 1996, the latest year for which figures are available, a total of £17.32 million — equivalent to 15 per cent of total overseas development assistance — was provided by the Department to non-governmental development organisations. The main recipients were Concern, Trócaire, GOAL, Oxfam, Christian Aid and the member organisations of the Irish Missionary Union. The funding was in respect of support for development activities carried out by the organisations concerned in developing countries. Full details of the funding provided in 1996 are outlined in the annual report entitled Ireland's Official Development Assistance 1996.
The level of funding provided for non-governmental organisations in 1997, subject to final audit, was £18.3 million. Full details of the funding for 1997 are in the course of preparation and the Department will be happy to make this available to the Deputy when the 1997 annual report is published next month.
Dáil Éireann 492 Written Answers. Voluntary Organisation Funding.