Online portal for the public to support Ukrainians

The government has announced a registry of pledges that will enable the public to support Ukrainian refugees.

The online portal, managed in collaboration with the Red Cross, will include accommodation offers.

A specific unit has been created within the Department of Childhood, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to manage accommodation and ongoing reception of Ukrainians upon their arrival in the country.

Announcing the register this afternoon, Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman said there will be an element of control.

“If there is an offer of accommodation, whether it’s the use of a room in the house, over the next week we can come back to that,” he said.

While wishing to take advantage of the huge outpouring of generosity from the Irish in recent days, Mr O’Gorman asked the public to be patient.

A man carries a baby as they try to board a train carrying refugees from Poland to Lviv

“We’re only 10 days away,” he said

Mr O’Gorman said “significant numbers” of refugees are expected in Ireland over the coming weeks and months, which is why the system is in place.

Initially, people will be accommodated in hotels, examining other medium and long-term accommodation options.

A third of those who have arrived are currently staying in hotels while the other two thirds are hosted by Ukrainians already living in Ireland.

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“We are very clear that Ukrainians will not enter the direct supply system,” he said. “They don’t need it because of the Temporary Protection Directive which was activated by all EU member states last Thursday.”

He added: “There is still work in progress on how this system will work, but hotel accommodation is what we are currently using.”

The government is preparing for a long-term commitment to Ukrainian refugees. Therefore, the public offering accommodation assistance should be aware that boarding will be medium to long term.

The Irish Red Cross said when people sign up to offer accommodation it will be for a period of six months to a year.

Ukrainians coming to Ireland will be able to benefit from access to health education, social benefits and access to the labor market.

Mr O’Gorman said the Ukrainian refugees he has spoken to so far are looking forward to working and settling in Ireland, “hoping the situation in Ukraine will be resolved”.

He said this will be in all government responses and all relevant ministries will play a role in terms of overall support.

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