Dáil Éireann - Volume 600 - 14 April, 2005

Written Answers. - National Drugs Strategy.

  120. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if he plans a support programme for groups seeking to combat the drugs problem; the way in which this programme is likely to deliver the necessary finances; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11629/05]

  Mr. N. Ahern: As the Deputy is aware, my Department has overall responsibility for co-ordinating the implementation of the national drugs strategy for 2001 to 2008. It also has responsibility for the work of the local and regional drugs task forces and the young people’s facilities and services fund, YPFSF. Some €95 million has been allocated or spent to implement a broad range of projects contained in the two rounds of plans of the local drugs task forces and a further €12.8 million has been allocated to projects under the premises initiative which is designed to meet the accommodation needs of community-based drugs projects. In addition, approximately €85 million has been allocated or spent under the YPFSF to support in the region of 450 facility and services projects.

In overall terms, I am pleased to inform the Deputy that my Department has funding of €31.5 million available to it in 2005 to fund various drugs programmes, which represents an 18% increase on last year’s budget. Through this funding, the ongoing work done through the local drugs task forces and the YPFSF will be further developed and consolidated. In addition, funding will be allocated to the regional drugs task forces to support the implementation of the various projects set out in their regional plans.