Derry Councillor calls for clarity on integration funding for asylum seekers

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SDLP councillor Lilian Seenoi-Barr has called for clarity around funding to help integrate asylum seekers in the North into their new communities.

Councillor Seenoi-Barr has contacted the Executive Office to establish what funding has been allocated by the Home Office to assist with the issue.

The Derry & Strabane rep said it was key that funding is allocated to local councils to help asylum seekers settle in their new homes.

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Councillor Seenoi-Barr said: “Following reports that the Home Office has allocated a sum of money to the Executive Office to support asylum seekers in Northern Ireland, I have been trying to obtain clarity about exactly what money has been provided, how it will be distributed and what it will be used for.

SDLP Councillor Lilian Seenoi-Barr.SDLP Councillor Lilian Seenoi-Barr.
SDLP Councillor Lilian Seenoi-Barr.

“Asylum seekers in our community require significant support, through my work with the North West Migrants Forum I regularly help new arrivals in the North to set up their home and integrate into their new communities and unfortunately this is not an area that been allocated much support. Financial assistance in this area could make a real difference in helping asylum seekers build their new lives here.

“It’s important that we ensure that any money that is available to support asylum seekers gets to the right people and is used in the correct way. Our local councils do important work when it comes to supporting the asylum community and I believe at least some of this money should be allocated to local authorities to carry on and further this support.”