March 27 2012

Funding which supports 6,000 victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland is due to end this month.

Hundreds of callers are contacting the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund (NIMF) every day worried about the future. The money covers chronic pain management, disability and education and training awards.

The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) has not confirmed whether funding worth around £3 million next year for individual victims will be renewed, a representative of the fund said.

A spokesman for the Memorial Fund said: “We have been advised that the NIMF will continue into 2012/13 in the interim period until the new victims and survivors’ service is fully operational but have not received confirmation of our funding for 2012/13.

“We understand that this is currently under urgent negotiation with OFMDFM.”

The money, typically up to £2,000 per applicant, involves financial assistance for a break away for carers, chronic pain management, disability awards, education and training awards.

Those benefiting are victims of the Troubles, bereaved or injured. With more than 40,000 people injured and 3,700 deaths, the organisation helps only a minority. It has been in existence for 13 years.

The fund is due to be run on an interim basis until it and the Community Relations Council, which deals with organisations, are subsumed into a single victims and survivors’ service.

Representatives of the fund are due to give evidence to the OFMDFM Stormont scrutiny committee on Wednesday.