Almost 80% of Ukrainian refugees and IDPs plan to return home, UN study
76% of refugees and 82% of internally displaced Ukrainians plan to return home whenever possible. At the same time, about 15% of both refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) say they want to do so within the next three months.
Karen Whiting, Deputy Representative of the UN Refugee Agency in Ukraine, shared in the podcast Unsafe Country, a joint project of the Center for Defense Strategies, Media Center “Ukraine” and Ukrayinska Pravda.
The United Nations received such data after a study they conducted. According to Whiting, this percentage remains relatively stable throughout 2022 and 2023.
As for the IDPs, those who want to integrate are more likely to find opportunities.
“We see that local authorities in several western and central regions are making efforts to provide internally displaced persons with access to social protection services, as well as to schools and the labor market,” the UN representative said.
According to Karen Whiting, local communities are not only willing to accept IDPs but increasingly see it as an opportunity to develop community centers and integration hubs to improve livelihoods and employment opportunities.
ZMINA earlier wrote that about 4.8 million internally displaced persons are officially registered in Ukraine, and about 2 million IDPs live without registration.
According to the head of the Ministry of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, Iryna Vereshchuk, the main challenges for these people during the initial adaptation are on-site accommodation, paperwork, financial assistance, necessities, medical care, and enrollment of children in kindergartens and schools. Then, there are the issues of housing and employment.
In December 2022, Ukrainian developers created the Event app for compatriots who need help abroad. The app offers psychological support, legal advice, creative classes for children, conversation clubs for learning the local language and conferences, and food and clothing ordering. There is also support for online events.
In addition, the I’m Ukrainian app was created in March of this year specifically for Ukrainian citizens forced to move to other countries. The app helps refugees find necessary services, educational or employment opportunities, and valuable educational courses.