End of direct supply delayed due to crisis in Ukraine

The end of the direct supply has been delayed as the government grapples with the huge influx of Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

In the program for government, all coalition parties promised to abolish direct provision and “replace it with a new international protection accommodation policy, centered on a not-for-profit approach”.

However, the Business post reports that the 2024 target will be missed and John Lannon of STAD – Coalition to End Direct Provision said the news was not unexpected:

“It is not surprising the delay given the number of people who have arrived from Ukraine more and the significant increase in applications for international protection,” he explained to Newstalk breakfast.

“Last year at this time, the Children’s Department was taking in about 7,000 asylum seekers. Today, they house more than 42,000 people between Ukrainians and asylum seekers from all over the world.

2HWRAXW Lviv, Ukraine – March 7, 2022: Ukrainian refugees at Lviv train station waiting for the train to escape to Europe

‘Odious’

Direct Provision was set up by the government of Bertie Ahern in 2000 and uses private contractors to provide short-term accommodation to asylum seekers arriving in Ireland.

The system has been described as “abhorrent” by the Asylum Seekers Movement in Ireland and many who have experienced it complain that the standard of food and accommodation is poor.

“[Direct Provision] has proven to be quite a detrimental system in terms of the health and well-being of anyone who spends time in it – especially children,” Lannon added.

Direct Supply Protest

The Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is overseeing the direct provision and Mr Lannon said he believed Minister Roderic O’Gorman had pledged to bring Changes :

“The minister has the good intention of wanting to end the direct supply,” he continued.

“It has been difficult, it is even more difficult now, but they have to make sure that this commitment that has been made in the program for the government is delivered as best they can.

“We need to see a plan, we accept that there are delays but it is important that this commitment is honoured.”

As of February this year, there were 6,273 people in Direct Provision and many are held there for years while the state processes their asylum claims.

The Ministry of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said in a statement:

A review of the implementation plan in light of the Ukrainian crisis is currently underway. It is important that this process is completed in order to clarify any impact on timelines.”

Main image: an anti-Direct Provision panel

Christi C. Elwood