The Irish Government is committed to receiving approximately 4,000 people through the Irish Refugee Protection Programme. This follows a decision in 2015 by the European Commission for member states to admit refugees as part of the UNHCR Resettlement Programme.
Westmeath has been selected as a Refugee Resettlement host community. In early 2017, Westmeath Community Development was successfully awarded the tender by Westmeath County Council to be the implementing agency of the Westmeath Syrian Programme Refugee Resettlement Project.
"Refugee Resettlement is a term used to describe the selection and transfer of refugees from a country of asylum to a third country which has agreed to admit them and in which refugees can permanently settle. People who participate in Refugee Resettlement are known as “programme refugees”.
Westmeath Community Development (WCD) will work in partnership with Westmeath County Council and the Westmeath Interagency Resettlement Working Group to support the implementation of the Westmeath Refugee Resettlement Project. WCD will provide Resettlement Support Services for families, to support refugees who will be resettled in Co. Westmeath. The overall objective of the programme is to ensure that refugees can settle into the community, can access services appropriately and build lasting relationships with the local community.
One Resettlement Worker and an Intercultural Worker will implement the local Resettlement Programme in Westmeath as part of a project that began in July 2017.
In Westmeath, The Refugee Resettlement Project is being co-financed by the European Commission under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund 2014-2020 and is supported by the Department of Justice and Equality.