Is the world seeing one of the largest refugee crises in Europe since the World War II? As per the data from the United Nations, this is true with more than four million people having fled Ukraine into neighbouring countries after Russia’s invasion.
“The fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. The Ukranians fled to the neighbouring countries where they got a warm welcome.
WHICH COUNTRIES ARE UKRAINE’S REFUGEES FLEEING TO?
As per the UN Data of April 1, Poland has accepted the most Ukrainians, at nearly 2,405,703. Next comes Romania, which has approximately 629,917 refugees. When Moldova has 391,592 refugees, Hungary has sheltered 379,988 refugees. When Russian Federation witnessed 350,632 refugee inflow, Slovakia had 294,885 refugee inflow and Belarus 12,746.
HOW MANY COULD BECOME REFUGEES IF ATTACKS CONTINUE?
The United Nations has warned that up to five million of Ukraine’s 44 million people could become refugees if attacks continue.
HOW ARE REFUGEES LEAVING UKRAINE?
Train services to the border countries are all full. Some also have the road. Most of the countries insist that the people should have their internal or foreign passports, birth certificates of children travelling with them and medical documentation. To get refugee status, they need to be Ukrainian citizens or people legally living in Ukraine, such as foreign students. However, reports point out that people from African countries are prevented at the borders.
HOW MANY CHILDREN FLED UKRAINE?
“The UNICEF has counted about 5,00,000 children having fled the country in just seven day of the Russian invasion. UN Children’s Fund spokesperson James Elder said, “Thousands of children spent another night in freezing and terrifying – terrified – in bunkers under siege. Children must, must, have peace.”
WHO ARE THE UKRAINIAN REFUGEES?
Women and children are most of the Ukrainian refugees. Save the Children in Romania CEO Gabriela Alexandrescu said that the mothers are the ones who have their child’s life in their hands with husbands and fathers remaining in Ukraine.
The UN estimates that 12 million people inside Ukraine will need relief and protection, while more than 4 million Ukrainian refugees may need protection and assistance in neighbouring countries in the coming months.
In the wake of the flow of millions of Ukranians because of the war, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said, “I have worked in refugee emergencies for almost 40 years, and never have I seen an exodus as rapid as this one. Hour by hour, minute by minute, more people are fleeing the terrifying reality of violence. Countless have been displaced inside the country. And unless there is an immediate end to the conflict, millions more are likely to be forced to flee Ukraine.”
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION
With more people fleeing the country and in need of assistance, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has already appealed for 350 million dollars to support its operations in response to the humanitarian needs of people in Ukraine and those who have fled to neighbouring countries.
SAFE PASSAGE FROM CONFLICT ZONES
With intense fighting going on, UN Chief António Guterres called for a pause in fighting to allow civilians to escape conflict zones in Ukraine, as UNHCR announced it had recorded 1 123 civilian casualties since the beginning of Russia’s armed attack on the country. In a Tweet, UN Secretary General declared it as absolutely essential to establish a pause in the fighting. This would allow the safe passage of civilians from all conflict zones. It would also ensure that life-saving humanitarian aid such as the UN supplies can move in to help those who remain.
In Hungary, the Government is providing temporary protection to all new arrivals from ukraine. Temporary residence permits are given to those with lawful stay in Ukraine, while those who wish to apply for temporary protection can do so with authorities stationed near
border crossing points. Groups of third country national students arriving from Ukraine are receiving assistance for accommodation and further travel from their respective embassies.
In Poland, border checks are kept to a minimum to reduce the long wait times observed in the initial days of large-scale arrivals to Poland. Authorities have emphasized that all people are being allowed to enter; those without valid travel documents are given a document proving their entry.
In Romania, it is reported that all arrivals without passports are required to apply for asylum to legalize their stay in Romania, creating administrative challenges and worry amongst those who intend to travel onwards.
Slovakia is also granting temporary protection for refugees from Ukraine and their family members until the end of the year. The Border and Aliens Police with the Fire and Rescue Service have opened large-capacity centres in Bratislava, Humenne and Michalovce to receive applications for temporary protection.
In the Republic of Moldova, borders have remained open for all of those fleeing Ukraine. The Government has also published an information portal for refugees fleeing Ukraine providing detailed information on how to enter the country, how to access services, and
legalizing their stay.
HOW MANY REFUGEES ARE THERE AROUND THE WORLD?
The UN reports that about 82.4 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 264 million refugees around half of whom are under the age of 18. Apart from this, the UN also talks about millions of stateless people, who have been denied a nationality and lock access to basic rights such as education, health care employment and freedom of movement.