Ukrainian refugees: eager to work but need more support | India is blooming

New York: Refugees from Ukraine are eager to work in their host country but need additional support to do so and to ensure their inclusion in the communities where they stay, according to a new survey released Friday by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

Lives on Hold: Intentions and Perspectives of Refugees from Ukraine, is based on 4,800 responses from people who fled brutal war in their homelands and now live in countries across Europe and beyond.

The survey was conducted between August and September.

Stay put for now

Seven months into the conflict, Ukrainian refugees remain grateful for the warm welcome they received across Europe, and most plan to stay put for the time being, said Matthew Saltmarsh, spokesman for the UNHCR in Geneva.

The majority, 81%, intend to return home to reunite with family, but only 13% plan to do so in the next three months.

“Large parts of Ukraine remain devastated, with towns and livelihoods destroyed in many areas. The onset of winter and soaring energy prices – or lack of electricity – are currently making it difficult for many displaced people to return home,” he said.

Want to contribute

Many refugees interviewed mentioned positive factors in their host country, such as their connections with family or friends, security and stability, availability of medical services, access to education and the economic situation. general.

Most are highly educated, eager to work and contribute. Around 70% have higher education qualifications and two-thirds previously worked in Ukraine.

“Refugees are eager to re-enter the labor market, which would reduce their reliance on welfare, but currently less than a third are employed or self-employed,” Mr Saltmarsh said.

They want to play a more active role in their new communities, he added, but need support such as language classes, formal skills recognition and, most importantly, childcare assistance. children so they can work outside the home.

Struggling to survive

Three-quarters of respondents said they intended to send their children to local schools, while 18% preferred distance learning using the Ukrainian curriculum.

Without work, many struggle to make ends meet and find suitable accommodation. Nearly half, 41%, are staying with host families and 20% live in collective sites or hotels. A quarter are tenants.

“Many are deeply concerned about finding sustainable alternatives ahead of winter,” Mr Saltmarsh said.

In the meantime, psychological support and specialist help for children with disabilities and the elderly are among their most pressing needs.

The majority of refugees, 87%, are women and children, and almost a third have a family member with at least one disability.

Assistance at home and beyond

With more than 7.4 million Ukrainian refugees across Europe, UNHCR urges host countries to continue their support to ensure they have access to adequate assistance, as well as socio-economic inclusion .

The agency is also continuing its operations in Ukraine, where nearly seven million people have been uprooted.

As winter approaches, staff repair and insulate the homes of vulnerable families.

Over 815,000 received food and non-food items, including winter clothing, while over 31,000 received emergency shelter materials.

UNHCR aims to distribute emergency shelter kits to more than 100,000 people by the end of the year.


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