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Rapid help for war refugees

Germany is committed to providing quick and non-bureaucratic support to people in Ukraine. 

Station in Lviv in Ukraine
Station in Lviv in Ukraine © picture alliance/dpa

Germany wants to provide war refugees from Ukraine with quick and non-bureaucratic help. To this end, the German government is liaising closely with the governments of the other European Union member states. At the same time, Germany is supporting humanitarian aid at the local level.

Simplifying the admission process for Ukraine refugees
According to Germany’s Ministry of Interior Affairs, the EU member states are “united and standing together” when it comes to coping with refugees from Ukraine. Following a meeting with her colleagues in Brussels, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser declared: “For the first time, we have achieved unity among all the states of the European Union on the joint, rapid and non-bureaucratic admission of war refugees.”

The basis for this will be a directive that was already adopted in 2001 but is now to be applied for the first time. It was created as a consequence of the wars that took place in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Its objective is to ensure that refugees in EU states no longer have to undergo lengthy asylum procedures. They can receive temporary protection for a period of up to three years. “We are showing solidarity and standing by the side of the people in Ukraine”, explained Faeser.

Millions of refugees expected
According to Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, the Refugee Agency of the United Nations expects up to four million refugees as well as up to eight million more people who will be forced to leave their homes by the Russian attacks and will rely on emergency aid in Ukraine. Just a few days after the start of the war at the end of February, more than 500,000 people had already fled to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries, according to UN High Commission for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

Rapid help at the local level
The German government is also supporting efforts to make medical supplies and safe accommodation quickly available to Ukrainians. To this end, Germany immediately topped up its contribution to the UN’s Ukraine crisis relief fund by five million euros when the war began, according to the Federal Foreign Office. International organisations like the UN Refugee Agency and the World Food Programme, as well as local organisations, will be able to access these funds in order to provide rapid help at the local level. Furthermore, Germany is making ten million euros available at short notice to the International Committee of the Red Cross.


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