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UN: Nearly Two-thirds of Ukrainian Refugees to Remain in Host Country in Coming Months

FILE: A young boy from Ukraine eats chocolate in a hostel in Budapest, Hungary, March 24, 2022.
FILE: A young boy from Ukraine eats chocolate in a hostel in Budapest, Hungary, March 24, 2022.

The U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday that 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% who said they plan to return to Ukraine. Another 9% said they would go to another host country, while 10% were uncertain.

The UNHCR shared its findings in a report based on interviews and focus groups with refugees who went to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

Nearly half of respondents left Ukraine in March, and 82% 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.

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