Four access points and a special website in Ukrainian to help refugees
Temporary protection can now be applied for in Slovakia. The finance minister is offering cash payments to those hosting refugees.
Four hotspots for Ukrainian refugees will be available from today near the eastern border of Slovakia. The Slovak authorities have also launched a special website for people fleeing the war.
The website https://ua.gov.sk/ provides more detailed information in Ukrainian about what awaits people directly at the border and after their transition to Slovakia. “We will take care of you”, specify the authorities on the website.
Hotspots where refugees can register will be located in the border municipalities of Ulič, Ubľa, Vyšné Nemecké and Veľké Slemence, and will operate 24/7. They will not serve as border crossings; instead, they will provide first aid to refugees from Ukraine. This should mean that the administrative process that anyone coming from Ukraine has to go through when arriving in Slovakia will be processed more quickly. The police and the Migration Board jointly manage the accelerated process.
Humanitarian organizations will also have tents to help those in need, coordinated by the Ministry of Health. People who want to volunteer there should contact the ministry via [email protected]
The number of hotspots should increase if the situation requires it, according to the authorities.
Apart from the hotspots, there is also a temporary emergency camp with field beds, mats and sleeping bags with a capacity of 500 people, built in the compound of the firefighting unit at Humenne. Sunday morning, 240 people were staying there.
The activities of ministries and non-governmental units currently present at the border crossing points with Ukraine, as well as the facilities set up to assist refugees, are coordinated by the operational staff located in Sobrance.
The current situation at the border
A total of 12,435 people were treated at the border with Ukraine between February 26 and this morning (February 27). The wait time is between three and 12 hours, the police said on Facebook. The shortest waiting times are at the Veľké Slemence border crossing.
During this time, 35 Ukrainians have applied for asylum. A person attempted to cross the border illegally.
Finance minister proposes aid payments
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) visited the Ukrainian border, proposing that Ukrainian refugees can apply for temporary shelter with the right of tolerated stay during border control and receive it within the hour. After obtaining this status, they would be entitled to health insurance and a material need allowance, as well as the possibility of working in Slovakia.
In addition, he proposes that the state provide financial compensation to anyone who offers accommodation to Ukrainian refugees, amounting to €100 per child and €200 per adult, as reported by the TASR newswire. This includes individuals, owners of accommodation establishments, municipalities, charities and churches.
The aim is to offer refugees the maximum possible help to those who need it, Matovič said, adding that it is mainly women and children who are currently arriving on Slovak territory.
These people should be registered by the municipalities, which would also be asked to cover the costs of their accommodation. Matovič promised that his ministry would reimburse these costs.
He said his proposal had the support of coalition partners. He plans to officially submit the proposal on Monday, February 28.
Measures currently in place
Slovakia has declared a state of emergency due to an expected mass influx of refugees from Ukraine on Saturday February 26 at noon. It allows the country to impose measures related to economic mobilization, which involves the preparation of resources to be used in the event of a national emergency by making changes in the organization of the national economy.
This includes securing accommodation for foreigners, arranging for their transportation or medical treatment, and defining related work duties.
Parliament also adopted an amendment to the Asylum Law which allows the State to provide temporary protection to people arriving, even without a decision of the Council of the European Union, and clarifies the provisions relating to temporary accommodation .
In addition, a refugee who has obtained accommodation after applying for temporary shelter does not have to go to a refugee camp, as he normally would. In order to speed up the procedure, the potential danger that the foreigner may represent for Slovakia will be checked afterwards. If authorities find that the foreigner in question poses a potential risk, they will follow applicable law and revoke the granted temporary shelter status.