The Executive Office (TEO) is committed to building a society in which racial equality and diversity is supported, understood, valued and respected, where people of minority ethnic backgrounds have a sense of belonging which is acknowledged and valued by people from all backgrounds.

Refugee Integration Strategy

The Executive’s Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025 provides a framework for Government departments to tackle racial inequalities and to promote and encourage good race relations and social cohesion for Irish Travellers, minority ethnic people whose families have been here a number of generations or who have recently arrived, migrant workers and asylum seekers.

The Racial Equality Strategy states there is a strong case for a separate Refugee Integration Strategy, to ensure a smooth transition between being an asylum seeker and a refugee and to ensure that refugees can build a new life here and realise their full potential.

The Executive Office have been working and engaging across key stakeholders in various sectors and have developed a Refugee Integration Strategy that reflects the thoughts and ideas of those stakeholders whilst building on learning from programmes such as the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

The draft Refugee Integration Strategy has now been officially opened for wider public consultation by First and deputy First Ministers with the consultation to run from Monday 29 November 2021 to Sunday 20 February 2022, a 12 week consultation period. Ministers encourage everyone to both consider and comment on the draft strategy to ensure that we have a strategy that is fully fit for purpose.

Copies of the draft Refugee Integration Strategy, including Easy Read and Child Friendly versions, along with other associated consultation documents including a comprehensive questionnaire, can be found at

Alternatively, please feel free to contact the Racial Equality Team in the Executive Office at should you require hard copy versions of the documents or wish to find out more about the strategy and consultation process.

A series of online workshops are being held. For details please e-mail:

Minority Ethnic Development Fund

The Minority Ethnic Development Fund (MEDF) provides support for voluntary and community organisations working with minority ethnic people and groups. The aim of the Fund is to assist minority ethnic and local community organisations to promote good relations between people of different ethnic backgrounds.

Whilst the MEDF has previously operated on an annual basis, in line with review recommendations, funding will now be multi annual and applications are being invited for a three year period.

Applications were open for the funding period 1 April 2022 – 31 March 2025.

The fund closed to applications on 27 January 2022

Applications received after this time will not be considered and to ensure no technical issues, we would recommend that applications are submitted well in advance of the closing time.

Funding awards will fall into three broad categories or ‘tiers’:

Tier 1

Tier 1a
Funding awards between £100 - £5,000.

Tier 1b
Funding awards between £5,000.01 - £10,000.

Awards may be for one-off events/projects or for projects lasting for three years (1 April 2022 – 31 March 2025).

Projects which are not multi-annual must be delivered and full expenditure incurred by 31 March 2023.

Tier 1 will be open to applications once, alongside Tiers 2 and 3 – however this will be kept under review.

Tier 2

Tier 2a
Funding awards between £10,000.01 - £30,000 per annum.

Tier 2b
Funding awards between £30,000.01 - £45,000 per annum.

Funding is intended to meet central management, development and administrative costs and thereby enable organisations to develop and provide services and projects.

Tier 2 will be open to applications once with funding running from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025.

Tier 3

Tier 3a
Funding awards between £45,000.01 - £60,000 per annum.

Tier 3b
Funding awards between £60,000.01 - £75,000 per annum.

Funding is intended to meet central management, development and administrative costs and thereby enable organisations to develop and provide services and projects.

Tier 3 applications must also include clear proposals to provide a mentoring role with smaller or less experienced organisations and/or to work collaboratively with others in the sector. 

Tier 3 will be open to applications once with funding running from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025.

Supporting documents

Applications should be made on the application form which can be downloaded via the link below:

To support applications, guidance notes are available at the link below. These are important and should be read in conjunction with any application being prepared. 

You can also view a guidance for applicants presentation, this will be made available shortly via the link below:

Funding Seminar

There will be an online funding seminar via Webex to provide further information on the process for potential applicants at 11.00am on 20th December 2021.

We recommend that you attend this seminar if you wish to apply - attendance is optional, but if you would like to attend please confirm by e-mail to: in order to receive joining instructions.

If you require further information, or if you wish to be added to our mailing list, you can contact us via email:

Privacy Notice

The Privacy Notice below seeks to inform you about how The Execuitve Office proposes to use your personal data for the purpose of the Minority Ethnic Development Fund.

Racial Equality Strategy 2015 - 2025

The Racial Equality Strategy 2015 - 2025 establishes a framework for government departments (and others) to tackle racial inequalities, to eradicate racism and hate crime and along with Together: Building a United Community, to promote good race relations and social cohesion.

The Strategy along with the accompanying indicators designed to monitor the progress of the Strategy were launched for consultation on 19 June 2014.

The public consultation exercise ended on the 10 October 2014. You can still download the draft Racial Equality Strategy and the Racial Equality Strategy Indicators consultation documents consultation via the links below:

Departmental Racial Equality Champions

The Racial Equality Strategy 2015-25 committed to the establishment of a Racial Equality Subgroup as a representative and independent body from minority ethnic communities that gives them a voice in the strategy and keeps our actions informed and relevant. The Racial Equality Strategy also committed to the appointment of a Racial Equality Champion in each department.

The Champions are working with the Subgroup to identify gaps in the services provided by departments and how to close them. 

The Racial Equality Subgroup

The Subgroup’s function is to act as a strong voice within Government here on issues specifically affecting minority ethnic people, migrants and race relations.

Membership comprises of people working with or representing minority ethnic people and migrants – including representatives of refugees and asylum seekers and both the Equality Commission and Human Rights Commission for Northern Ireland. It is chaired by members of the group independent from Government. 

Minutes of the Racial Equality Subgroup meetings can be accessed via the link below:

Travellers Thematic Group

As part of the Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025 a Thematic Group on Travellers has been established.

The Group aims to provide information and advice to the Executive Office on particular issues faced by Travellers and to support work to identify actions that can deliver real improvement in the lives of Travellers. 

Travellers Thematic Group -  Membership

Travellers Thematic Group - Opportunities to get involved

Travellers Thematic Group - Minutes of Meetings

Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme

On 7 September 2015 the Prime Minister announced an additional 20,000 Syrian refugees would be resettled in the UK over the course of the current UK Parliament.

The First Minister and deputy First Minister signalled to the UK Government their willingness to welcome some of the most vulnerable refugees into Northern Ireland with 50 to 100 arriving on a phased basis from December 2015. TEO is the policy lead for the scheme here with the Department for Communities responsible for its operation.

The link below provides information about the scheme and on the current arrival of refugees.

Contact us

Racial Equality Unit

Racial Equality Strategy 2005-2010

A Racial Equality Strategy was published in July 2005. The strategy set out a framework for government and all sections of civil society in Northern Ireland for the creation of a community where racism, in any of its forms, is not tolerated and where all people enjoy equality of opportunity and equal protection.

You can access the strategy and related publications via the link below:

Related publications and legislation

Contact the Racial Equality Unit

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