EU under severe pressure dealing with over 5Mln refugees: EUAA
The EU Agency for Asylum (EUAA) issues a report saying that the five million persons seeking protection in Europe have placed its national reception systems under considerable pressure.
Around four million Ukrainians have been given temporary protection in EU countries in 2022, while another one million third-country nationals applied to the bloc for refugee status, which has put severe pressure on national migration services, the EU Agency for Asylum (EUAA) reported Wednesday.
"In 2022, EU+ countries received some 966 000 applications for international protection, up more than 50 % from 2021... It comes in addition to around 4 million people fleeing Ukraine who benefit from temporary protection. In activating the Temporary Protection Directive, the decision to offer a dedicated channel that does not require an individual examination of protection needs prevented the collapse of Europe’s asylum systems. However, the combined five million persons seeking protection in Europe have placed its national reception systems under considerable pressure," the report read.
The report added that Syrians, totaling 132,000, had the highest number of individual requests for refugee status, and Afghans totaled 129,000, while residents of Turkey and Venezuela applied as well.
The ongoing conflicts in the countries above and their aftermath, in addition to food insecurity and the lifting of Covid-19-related restrictions, were some of the factors that push people to seek asylum in the EU, according to the EUAA.
Ever since the EU adopted the Temporary Protection Directive in March, Ukrainians were promised that they would be provided homes, jobs, and healthcare and have their children sent to school in whichever country of the 27 EU states they choose to settle in for up to three years.
Read: EU lagging on its commitments to Ukrainian refugees
Many refugees have expressed frustration over the constant moving and the difficulty of securing a job, with over 3 million Ukrainians reportedly returning to Ukraine, either because it seemed safe enough or because life as a refugee was just too much to bear.
On August 28, The Guardian reported that 50,000 Ukrainian refugees in the UK could be made homeless next year, the UK government has been warned, but ministers are refusing to offer a fresh package of support to offset the impending crisis.
On October 26, the Washington Post reported that the EU is lagging on its commitments to provide Ukrainian refugees with appropriate accommodation, jobs, and schooling for their children.
As of mid-October, 4.5 million Ukrainians had registered for temporary protection, which is far above the number of people who sought refuge in 2015 and 2016.
Poland, which hosts the most refugees out of all EU countries, has more than half of working-age refugees employed, which contributes to helping newcomers in finding jobs more rapidly.
However, in France, the language and the lack of a preexisting diaspora makes market integration more challenging. So far, only 15% of working-age Ukrainian refugees are employed.
Official data revealed that many are overqualified, while others are precariously employed, primarily working in lower-wage sectors, which include logistics, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, and hospitality.
Moreover in Germany, it was reported that many of the refugees who found work aren't filling labor shortages in specific key industries but were assisting with the response to the refugee influx in positions that often require no or little German skills.
The majority of refugees rely on temporary accommodations in refugee centers, in hotels, with host families, whereas about a quarter rent a place of their own.
When arrangements expire, many aid organizations struggle to secure funds to renew the leases.
"I wasn't wrong": Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien doubles down on his "no cap" policy for Ukrainian refugees, even as the government warns that some may end up homeless due to lack of accommodation.— gript (@griptmedia) October 21, 2022
Watch the full interview here: https://t.co/ujydUiumeh#gript pic.twitter.com/5Zzo2E3j91
Some countries and municipalities have begun to pull back support on accommodation as they are running out of money.
In Prague, for example, prior to taking 450,000 refugees in, the country had one of the world’s bubbliest housing markets.
So when the refugees arrived, the population of Prague grew by 7%, overwhelming public housing and further straining the rental market.
Overall in the Czech Republic, about half of Ukrainian refugees lack the privacy of having their own bathrooms or the security of having their own key.
Yet, the housing conditions for Ukrainians remain far better than what other refugee groups have had before, like the notorious camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, where a garbage-strewn tent city has been replaced with a complex fenced in with razor wire, and conditions are regularly declared inhumane.
Also read: Refugees, exhausted by 'hunger and homelessness', in UK to return to Ukraine