Seven months after the war, the question of long-term acceptance of Ukrainian refugees is looming almost everywhere in Europe. Temporary or joint solutions are eroding. Overview of correspondent clubs in Poland, Belgium and Switzerland.
In Poland, a limited government aid scheme
Five million Ukrainians fled to Poland in the first months of the war, of whom 1.3 million are still there today. Poland is the country with the highest number of asylum seekers in the world. Poland immediately mobilized to unite them. But after seven months of conflict, Ukrainian family opportunities are shrinking significantly.if they can still find Free food and clothing distribution centers, especially in Warsaw, are far fewer than they were at the start of the war.
Finding accommodation is more complicated. In the capital, the real estate market is saturated and Poles are no longer willing to host their families for months. Announcements are becoming increasingly rare. Yet one in two Poles still voluntarily and unpaidly helps refugees, according to the latest polls. But these polls also show that 15% of her respondents said she was hostile to her care.
Therefore, the state continues to provide financial support to individuals to encourage citizens to support Ukrainians. Those who house and feed Ukrainian asylum seekers receive 40 zloty, or 10 euros per person per day.However, due to delays in payment and limited duration – you cannot receive this assistance for more than 4 months – the device Fatigue in many Polish families.
The situation is far less tense than when the conflict began. The trend is towards return to Ukraine and the association is adapting to this reversed flow of refugees. The onset of winter and power shortages in Ukraine could force people to flee the country en masse again.
Temporary housing scattered in residential areas in Belgium
Belgium has already hosted 55,000 refugees, including 8,500 in Brussels. Even today, about 100 Ukrainians arrive in the country’s capital every day, about 30 of whom have no accommodation. Belgium sends them to host families whenever possible. Pierre Verbeeren, the reception coordinator of the Belgian capital, also pays tribute to the solidarity of Belgian citizens. To date, the platforms set up by the authorities still have 450 of Candidate households are listed.
Nevertheless, work has been underway in the area in recent months to urgently convert some 47,000 square meters of offices into residences. Some hotels are also undergoing renovations. And by December, he expects prefabs to be installed in his five municipalities in the agglomeration to house families in modular, removable habitats.
Each of these sites has only 12 to 15 dwellings. The idea here is not to group Ukrainian refugees, but to insert them into residential neighborhoods to promote integration among the local population. Housing is also temporary, as the aim is to direct these refugees to private rental housing.
With around €2,000 in social assistance for a family of four and access to the job market, these Ukrainians have the means to integrate into society, Pierre Verbeeren emphasizes. So the coordinator adds that it is possible and even desirable. By his calculations, about half of these refugees will undoubtedly remain in Belgium after the war ends.
In Switzerland, exhibition centers mobilized in the face of declining numbers of host families
With over 65,000 Ukrainian refugees, Switzerland is one of the Western European countries hosting the highest number of Ukrainian refugees per capita. However, finding accommodation is not always easy. In Geneva, she had to use Palexpo, one of Ukraine’s largest exhibition centers, to house her 300 Ukrainian refugees.
Even if the place where they are welcomed is only a small part of the complex, it represents two soccer fields covered with a 20m high roof. Dozens of boxes are arranged in three or four rows separated by wire mesh and plastic sheets. Inside the box are 3 or 4 of his bunk beds, a few chairs…that’s it. Residents say they are very happy with their situation, even though they would have liked to find more stable accommodation.
They are rare, except that it is difficult for them to find a host family. “At the beginning of March, thousands of people across Switzerland announced they were welcoming people into their homes.says Ariane Merkelbach, head of the migration department at Geneva’s social service, Integrated Hospice. It’s clear that motivation can wane a bit over time. There was a summer vacation when the number of foster parents decreased. ”
Many Swiss host families stay for 3 to 6 months. But, as you know, the war is protracted and so is the stay of Ukrainians with every imaginable tension within the family. And even among Ukrainians who were the first to seek a permanent re-internment solution, it was a bewilderment.