A Department of Public Expenditure report has indicated that upwards of €120 million would be spent this year on the Direct Provision System (the system of accommodation for people claiming asylum in Ireland) . This represents a 50% increase on the 2018 figure of €78 million which itself was the highest since 2010.
The report entitled "Direct Provision : Overview of current accommodation expenditure" published earlier this Month says that Ireland is experiencing "the highest level of net inward migration since 2008" and the rise in costs is largely due to a rapid growth in the number of asylum applicants , projected this year to be up 40% on 2018. Between January 2017 and June 2019 , there was a 59% increase in the number of people living in Direct Provision , from 4,425 persons in January 2017 to 7,016 persons at the end of June 2019 .
This growth has led to capacity issues at the existing 39 centres around Ireland resulting in new arrivals being housed in emergency accommodation which is costing €500,000 per week and expected to add €
22 million to this years bill. New centres required to meet additional demand will come on stream in the next 3 months further increasing costs by €7.5 million . Additional funding of €1,000,000 has been allocated to NGO’s to obtain housing for people living in direct provision
who have been granted refugee status .
Another contributing factor to the rising costs is the introduction of a National Standards for Accommodation Centres requiring all centres to provide residents with Independent Living arrangements .These standards which were formally adopted earlier this month by Ministers Charlie Flanagan and David Stanton in collaboration with the UNHCR and various NGOS require residents living in Direct Provision have access to ..."private living space,sleeping quarters and en-suite bathrooms" , they should also be given "free contraception" , "free nappies" and have access to "Crèche,pre-school,study spaces,study materials,educational, medical, health and social care". Transport should also be provided for shopping etc. All Centres should have "on-site clubs equipped with Wi-Fi and computers". Residents should have a "self catering option" and if chosen provided with cooking facilities and food supplies . It is projected that these enhancements will add an additional €15 million to the annual bill .
Figures from the international protection office show there were 2,680 asylum applications lodged in Ireland between January and July this year compared to 1,949 applications for the same period last year
, an overall increase of 37% . The top 5 Countries of origin for asylum seekers entering Ireland in 2019 are Albania , Georgia , Zimbabwe , South Africa and Nigeria . Sources used in this article Direct Provision: Overview of current accommodation expenditure National Standards for Direct Provision Centres Asylum Applications to end of July