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Increase in SICAP funding will benefit the most disadvantaged - Minister Ring

Mr Michael Ring, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development, today (Tuesday, 26 November) announced €39.2m funding for the 2020 Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP), the Government’s primary scheme targeted towards social inclusion intervention. This represents a 3% increase on 2019 funding for the programme.  

SICAP, which is co-funded by the European Social Fund, supports unemployed people, those living in deprived areas, people with disabilities, single parent families, people on low income, members of the Traveller and Roma community and other disadvantaged groups. Almost 32,000 people were assisted by the programme in 2018.   

Announcing the funding today, Minister Ring said:

This increase underpins this Government’s on-going commitment to social inclusion and community development. This programme works to tackle poverty, social exclusion and long-term unemployment through supporting local engagement and partnership between disadvantaged individuals, community organisations, public sector agencies and other stakeholders.

Since 2018, with support from SICAP:

  • Over 43,00 people were supported, of which 40% were from a jobless household and 31% were long term unemployed
  •  16,502 people completed a lifelong learning course
  • 4,024 people set up their own business and 2,168 got jobs
  • 3,066 community groups were helped
  •  334 social enterprises were supported.

Minister Ring continued:

The programme will continue to reach out to help those who need it most in disadvantaged areas, urban and rural, by encouraging and supporting people towards accessing mainstream services.  

I know from experience that programmes such as SICAP make a real difference to communities on the ground, especially those groups and individuals in our communities that are marginalised and suffering disadvantage, and I will continue to do my best to secure additional funding for this vital programme.