£2.3 million has been announced on International Migrants Day to support refugees and migrant communities and to promote better community cohesion across Wales.
This new funding comes as part of the Welsh Government’s 2020/2021 draft Budget which was launched on Monday by the Finance Minister Rebecca Evans.
It forms part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to working towards becoming a ‘nation of sanctuary’ for refugee and asylum seekers, having published an action plan at the beginning of this year.
The ‘Nation of Sanctuary – Refugee and Asylum Seeker Plan’ highlights a range of targeted, culturally-appropriate support which recognises the importance of delivering tailored services for unique needs.
To help achieve this, the 2020/2021 Budget announces:
- £760,000 to employ community cohesion officers working directly in communities across Wales to respond to tensions arising from the EU withdrawal result;
- £600,000 to fund local organisations to work with ethnic minority and minority faith communities in schools, colleges and community-based workshops to prevent and mitigate hate crimes, as well as providing dedicated support services for victims through Victim Support Cymru’s National Report and Support Hate Crime Centre;
- £500,000 to provide advice to 1,200 EU citizens in relation to the Settlement Scheme and support for 4,500 people around workplace rights and social welfare issues;
- £355,000 for one-to-one information, advice and casework support for 2,500 people seeking asylum across Wales.
- £40,000 to fund a variety of Windrush Day celebrations across Wales;
- £50,000 to ensure people seeking sanctuary are supported to present their asylum case effectively.
Additional to the Budget, £1m has been committed to continue the ReStart: Refugee Integration Project. A key element of the Nation of Sanctuary Plan, the service aims to improve the integration of refugees through access to language tuition, employability support and advice on local cultural knowledge.
Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt is responsible for overseeing support for refugees, community cohesion and equalities. She said:
International Migrant Day is a marked opportunity to reiterate our commitment to making Wales a nation of sanctuary for all.
Our action plan ensures refugees and asylum seekers are welcomed to Wales, regardless of circumstance, and today’s Budget announcement further cements our pledge.
This funding is about celebrating Wales’ diversity and that’s why I am proud we’re also announcing £40,000 for Windrush Day for a second year, ensuring those from the Windrush generation who made Wales their home are rightly honoured.
The United Nation’s International Migrants Day aims to educate people around the world on the issues related to migration, to enact change and celebrate human diversity.