Ukrainian refugees: update
Joint statement from Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council, and Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care and public health
Shropshire Council has been watching the events in Ukraine with horror and bewilderment. We are keen to support those fleeing the awful events that are unfolding, and have received significant requests for information and support both regarding donations and the rehousing of refugees. We will, when able, use our extensive knowledge and experience in working with and resettling Syrian and Afghan families to also support those families and individuals fleeing Ukraine.
Shropshire Council can confirm that we are still waiting on further information following the Home Secretary’s statement on humanitarian support yesterday, and will continue to work closely with the Home Office and the West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership to understand the offer being made by the Government and how we can assist.
As of 1 March 2022:
- 660,000 refugees have now fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries.
- 280,000+ people have crossed into Poland from Ukraine so far and are currently being supported
- An estimated 25,000-47,000 have arrived in Romania from Ukraine. Most people are likely to use Romania as a transit country, as they can enter as visitors for 90 days irrespective of nationality now.
- There have been minimal numbers entering Lithuania, but there is expectation that those with previous ties to the country will start to arrive soon.
- There is currently approximately a 60-hour wait at the Slovakia border for those looking to enter the country.
It is expected that some of those leaving Ukraine will seek to enter the UK through different channels, including seeking asylum and joining family members – British citizens, and EU nationals already living in the UK, including under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Shropshire Council will also be flying the Ukrainian flag at Shirehall to show that we stand with Ukraine.
A summary of current immigration routes and concessions available to Ukrainians can be found here – Can Ukrainians take refuge in the UK? Immigration concessions and asylum policy – Free Movement.
Home Office guidance on the concessions can be found here – Support for family members of British nationals in Ukraine, and Ukrainian nationals in Ukraine and the UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and here Concession to the Immigration Rules for Ukrainian nationals on family routes (publishing.service.gov.uk).
Local organisations supporting and co-ordinating help include:
- Refugee Charity Shropshire | Shropshire Supports Refugees | England;
- Shropshire European Organisation c.i.c – Home | Facebook;
- Ukraine front line support | Facebook;
- SEMA: Shropshire Ethnic Minority Alliance – Home | Facebook
A map showing Ukrainian donation points can be found here – Ukraine Donation Points – Google My Maps