The 2022 Russian invasion and assault have resulted in the emergence of Ukrainian refugees. The majority have stayed in Europe, with almost every country taking people in. All these individual nations have been different in regard to dealing with Ukrainian refugees. Here is a brief look into what six European countries have done for Ukrainian refugees.
- Poland: Poland is the country that has admitted the most refugees, with almost 1.4 million reported, many of them children. In Poland, both the UNICEF and the Japanese government have been assisting Ukrainians. Aid efforts include setting up special schools for refugees. Many Polish people offered their support in the beginning stages. But recently, support has reportedly dwindled. Nevertheless, there are still committed volunteers offering assistance to incoming refugees.
- Romania: In terms of Ukrainian refugees’ health, the country that took the initiative was Romania, as some countries had trouble dealing with the medical needs of a large refugee population. The partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO) and Romania led to great results.
- Lithuania: The nation of Lithuania had a major refugee population, which it found financially taxing. In earlier crises, the EU had set aside funds to help. In Lithuania, this money has mostly been used up. In addition, Lithuania also expressed interest in helping rebuild Ukraine after the victory. Ukraine is not yet in the EU, so that would need to happen concurrently.
- The United Kingdom: The U.K. has been supporting Ukraine since the 2014 crisis. It provided financial support that Russia might have taken, specifically with energy. The aid was planned to end right before the 2022 invasion. With the recent refugee influx, the U.K. government has set up the Ukraine Family Scheme to manage migrants, of which more than 200,000 have applied thus far. The U.K. has used a large part of its aid budget to help refugees. This includes those that have come to Britain and even those that have gone elsewhere.
- Germany: Germany is another nation that has taken in a large population of Ukrainian refugees, with more than 1 million intakes thus far. This mirrors its response to recent similar events. Unfortunately, it would seem things have not been going as well this time, with both available support and public opinion down. Despite this, some volunteers are still willing to support refugees, even if it gets risky. According to reports, there is a train that goes directly from war-torn Ukraine to Germany.
- Finland: Some European nations, especially smaller ones, worry that they may not be able to support large refugee populations. One example would be the Eastern European country of Estonia. Estonia negotiated with Finland to accept refugees from them. The two nations have around the same amount of refugees coming in. Finland was planning to take in 50-100 refugees a week from Estonia, but around 400-500 new refugees register with the country weekly.
Despite the challenges posed by the Ukrainian refugee crisis resulting from the 2022 Russian invasion, several European countries have shown commendable efforts in providing support and assistance. Nations like Poland, Romania, Lithuania, the United Kingdom, Germany and Finland have taken various measures to accommodate and aid Ukrainian refugees, including setting up special schools, addressing health care needs and implementing specific schemes. Although some challenges and concerns have emerged, the commitment of volunteers and international collaborations is indicative of the collective commitment to assisting those affected by the conflict.
– Josh Sobchak