UN data shows that 7.7 million Ukrainians are registered as residents of other European nations.
The tsunami of displaced people is putting pressure on public services in other countries that are trying to help them.
Already in Ireland there are housing problems and in other countries essential public services, especially housing, are creaking under pressure.
UN data also shows that 4.38 million missing Ukrainians across Europe are registered for temporary protection or similar national protection schemes.
The two countries with the largest number of Ukrainian refugees (excluding the Russian Federation which is said to have 2.86 million) are Poland and Germany.
Poland has 1.44 million forced Ukrainian immigrants, almost 4% of its population, while Germany has 1 million or 1.2% of its population, which is 84 million.
In both cases, there is greater pressure on housing, health, education and other public services.
German MEP Damian Boeselager of Volt Europe: A Pan-European Political Party says cities are feeling the pinch.
“I think in every city it is complicated because the housing market is already difficult,” said Mr Boeselager, reports RTE.
In Munich, according to the MEP, many Ukrainians have already started renting, while most are in private homes with volunteer families who provide accommodation.
Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he agreed that the influx of refugees was putting pressure on housing listings and housing in the cities.
“In Berlin, I know that the people who have the right to apply for social housing or some support is less than ten percent. Yes, there is definitely always this challenge. It is certainly a stretch but still the right thing to do is to allow them to come. Everywhere where you have an additional amount of people coming that can create pressures,” said Mr Boeselager, reported RTE.
Similarly, in Poland, public services are under pressure.
There is concern that poorer public services could change Polish public opinion that currently supports mass Ukrainian migration.
“If we speak about challenges the most important issue – which will become bigger and bigger – is housing. However, the second is just access to public services,” economics professor Pawel Kaczmarczyk, head of of migration studies. at the University of Warsaw, reported RTE.
“So far the attitudes towards forced migrants from Ukraine, they are extremely positive but we are entering quite a dangerous phase when people at some point they compete over scarce resources. This is not a coincidence then as most of the time we are talking about public services because this is where the competition is happening and will happen in the future,” added Prof Kaczmarczyk, RTE reported.
The countries bordering Ukraine have the largest number of Ukrainians, such as Slovakia, which has a population of 5.4 million and has taken in almost 98,000 Ukrainians (1.8%).
Finland, which has a population of 5.5 million, took 38,000 (0.7%).
Compared to Ireland, which has about 1% of its own population.
There are 54,600 Ukrainians here according to the most recent government figures.
Since the war began, almost seven million Ukrainians have been displaced in their country and almost three million have returned home. Nearly a third of the country’s population is displaced.
The UN lists 42 European countries in its figures.
In the United Kingdom, according to the UN data classification, as in Poland, Ireland and Germany, there are housing problems.
There are currently 138,000 Ukrainians registered in the UK by the UN, 0.2% of its population.
Tens of thousands of refugees arriving in the UK have been received into foster homes under the “Home for Ukraine” programme.
Kate Brown, executive director of Reset Communities and Refugees (a group that trains volunteers to welcome refugees into communities across the UK) said the program is running out of steam and there is great concern about people ending up on the streets.
According to RTE, he said: “We are seeing and hearing a lot of concern about the end of the six month period, all of these thousands of refugees that have been hosted in peoples homes … the initial period of support that sponsors offered is coming to an end. There is lots of concern from refugees, sponsors, and from local authorities about what will happen at that point. We would really like to see government offering some ambitious policy changes – for example seeing a rental scheme to better enable refugees to be able to access the rental market. It is a known challenge in the UK. We have a housing crisis. What has been amazing about the ‘Home for Ukraine’ scheme is that it has enabled community members to open up their homes and that’s been transformational for welcome. But of course, we all know that no one should be homeless but we also know that there are thousands of refugees that have been able to be welcomed and thousands more who are living in uncertain situations – and that is particularly concerning as it gets colder and darker”.
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