Published on Wednesday28thDecember2022

Department of Health and Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage announce €1m for initiatives to support the health and wellbeing of Ukrainian refugees

Minister of State with Responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, and Paul Dunne, Chief Executive Officer, Local Government Management Agency, today announced the allocation of €1 million to Local Authority Community Response Forums across the country. 

Announcing the fund, Minister of State with Responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton TD, said: 

“Healthy Ireland works in partnership with Local Government and communities to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in Ireland through the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme and the Healthy Cities and Counties initiative. This additional funding will enable our Local Authority partners to assist Ukrainian refugees to integrate into their communities and build healthy lives here in Ireland.” 

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, welcoming the funding said: 

“Local Government’s partnership with Healthy Ireland is building Healthy Communities and improving people’s health and wellbeing in communities across Ireland. I welcome this additional funding from Healthy Ireland for projects in each of the 31 Local Authorities that will supplement the excellent work being done on the ground by the Local Authority Community Response Forums.”

The Healthy Ireland Ukrainian Resilience Fund is a once off €1 million fund which will support projects developed by Local Authority Community Response Forums. 

Following applications from Local Authorities across the country funding is being distributed by Healthy Ireland to fund a number of projects in 30 Local Authorities across the 26 counties. These projects have been chosen by the Local Authorities and local partners based on local needs and will invest in local communities helping Ukrainian refugees by delivering a range of health and wellbeing initiatives in line with the vision of Healthy Ireland, A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013-2025. 

There is a broad range of projects being rolled out to support participation in recreational, physical, creative, social and cultural activities to support Ukrainian refugees to adapt to their new surroundings while focusing on supporting their general health and wellbeing. A number of projects focus on supporting integration into the local community, including after school clubs for children and woodland walks for adults, where Ukrainian refugees can meet and form connections with others in the community. 

Integration projects also include family excursions, such as a family day trip to the Wild Lights experience in Dublin Zoo, giving adults and children the opportunity for a fun day away together while meeting other families. 

A range of projects focus on physical activity and movement, including yoga, dance, and adapted physical activity sessions aimed at older or medically vulnerable people. A number of projects also offer therapeutic interventions to provide support in coping with the trauma of war and displacement, including one to one and group counselling support for adults and play and art therapy for children.

Paul Dunne, Chief Executive Officer Local Government Management Agency said:

“Locally led initiatives are key to the health and wellbeing of communities. This fund builds on the work Local Authorities are doing to support the physical, mental and social wellbeing of everyone in their communities.”


Notes to Editor:

The Healthy Ireland Ukrainian Resilience Fund is once-off funding of €1 million which will be distributed to Local Authorities to fund projects in line with the Healthy Ireland vision. These projects are focused on improving health and wellbeing for Ukrainian refuges and all people in the community. 

Healthy Ireland is a Government of Ireland initiative that involves a collective response to the risks that threaten the health and wellbeing of people in Ireland. The Healthy Ireland Framework sets out four central goals for improved health and wellbeing and outlines clear routes and strategies to achieve these goals, in which all people and all parts of society can participate. 

  • Goal 1: Increase the proportion of people who are healthy at all stages of life
  • Goal 2: Reduce health inequalities
  • Goal 3: Protect the public from threats to health and wellbeing
  • Goal 4: Create an environment where every individual and sector of society can play their part in achieving a healthy Ireland

For more information see Healthy Ireland, A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013-2025

The €1m funding was divided, on a pro-rata basis, to provide a maximum amount of funding for each Local Authority based on the number of Ukrainian refugees living in each area. The Local Authorities submitted proposals for projects to be funded up to this maximum amount. The Healthy Ireland team in the Department of Health evaluated proposals to ensure they aligned with the overall objectives of improving health and wellbeing for the intended recipients of the initiatives.