Tour de France of initiatives in favor of Ukrainian refugees

By Audrey Sommazi, Jordan Pouille, Nathalie Stey, Claire Mayer, Richard Schittly, Benjamin Keltz, Gilles Rof, Laurie Moniez, Agathe Beaudouin and Julia Pascual

Posted yesterday at 03:49, updated yesterday at 10:15

They are several tens of thousands. Women and children above all, who fled the war and whom the road of exile led to France. According to government information, some 36,000 people, mostly Ukrainians, have arrived since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, out of a total of 4 million refugees who have left Ukraine. Some of them have only transited and have since joined Spain, Italy, Germany or England, where they often had a point of attachment, an acquaintance, a member of their family already settled.

Elisabeth Ruellan, a retired Russian teacher, reads a text in French to a Ukrainian teenager who fled her country because of the war, at the Emmanuel-d'Alzon Institute, in Nîmes, on April 1, 2022.

Another part of these people stayed. To meet the challenge of welcoming them, the State has promised to bring together 100,000 accommodation places in total. An ambitious goal. By way of comparison, this volume corresponds to the number of accommodation places in the national system for the reception of asylum seekers, the result of several years of effort and public expenditure, and which can accommodate only the half of those seeking protection.

Everywhere on the territory, today, the prefectures are hard at work to locally identify the existing accommodation capacities and check their availability. They go from the hotel to the holiday center, passing through the homes of private individuals. The State wants to achieve a distribution on the territory while the Ile-de-France, the Grand-Est and the region of Nice are today the main places of arrival. “Nearly 70,000 accommodation places have already been identified, is responsible for the Ministry of the Interior, of which 48,517 are available and 20,710 are occupied. » Of these, 6,399 places are provided by citizen accommodation. “There is a gap between the proposals of citizens and the possibilities of a long-term reception, however warns a prefect. It is absolutely necessary to offer permanent housing. »

Welcoming Ukrainian refugees also means quickly implementing access to health, work, as well as schooling for children and learning French.

The temporary protection that has been granted by all the Member States of the European Union to refugees from Ukraine facilitates their integration process since it allows the automatic granting of a temporary residence permit, worth for example in France work permit and access to universal health protection.

According to the Ministry of National Education, 6,873 children have already gone to school, college or high school, while the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, said on Friday 1er April that more than 600 companies came forward on the government platform dedicated to the reception of displaced Ukrainians with “7,000 job offers”, particularly in the stressed hotel and catering sector. Here too, the issue is “transform the strong commitment of companies” in “concrete solutions”.

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