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Ukrainian refugee want to return home – UNHCR survey

20 July 20220 comments

Most of the refugees who have fled Ukraine want to ultimately return home but around two-thirds expect to stay in their current host countries until the conflict ends, according to a new survey by the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

The report, ‘Lives on Hold: Profiles and Intentions of Refugees from Ukraine’ shows refugees have concerns about their futures due to the ongoing war, which is preventing them from making secure, long-term plans.

The survey canvased 4,900 refugees from Ukraine in the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia in May and June.

It found nearly two-thirds of refugees who fled Ukraine since Russia launched an invasion in late February plan to stay in their host country in the coming months.
That compares with 16 per cent who said they plan to return to Ukraine. Another 9 per cent said they would go to another host country, while 10 per cent were uncertain.
Nearly half of respondents left Ukraine in March, and 82 per cent said they had to separate from at least one member of their family.
Asked about their main urgent needs in their host country, the most common responses were cash, employment and accommodation.
The UNHCR estimated that at the end of June there were at least 5.5 million Ukrainian refugees in Europe, with another 7.1 million people displaced within Ukraine.
The agency’s report said some of the refugees expressed feeling welcome in their host community, but that others spoke of “experiences of prejudice and alienation”.
There were also frustrations about “having to rely on volunteers for support,” as well as challenges with the need to learn the local language and find reliable information about services and job opportunities.

The refugees’ plans on whether to stay put or when to move varied significantly according to their regions of origin, the time elapsed since displacement and their current host countries.

A higher proportion of refugees from Kyiv and areas in the west were planning to return than those who arrived from the east and north.

Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine on February 24 as President Vladimir Putin demanded Kyiv’s army lay down its weapons.

The UN’s human rights office said more than 5,000 civilians had been killed since the invasion, noting, however, that the real death toll was likely much higher.

According to UNHCR, more than 8.7 million people have fled Ukraine since February 24. Many have sought refuge in neighbouring states. In March alone, almost 3.4 million Ukrainians fled their country.

The United Nations is preparing for up to 4 million more refugees from Ukraine if Russia’s war against the country continues to escalate.

Ukrainian refugee Anastasiia Kozinaz who fled the war in Ukraine and came to Australia to keep her two young sons safe, says she hopes to return to her country when the conflict ends.

“For now I want to keep my boys safe and I want to work to be able to help my family who are still in Ukraine. But one day, when the war is over, I want to go back to help rebuild my country,” Anastasiia said.

“But I don’t know when the conflict will end. Maybe when the president of Russia is dead,” she said.

See the full report here: Document – Lives on Hold: Profiles and Intentions of Refugees from Ukraine (