Uncontested End of Support
Keir Giles wrote in his article for The Guardian that the UK government has outsourced the work of helping Ukrainian refugees to local authorities and volunteers, so the program “Houses for Ukraine” ” is in danger of collapse.”
According to the journalist, about 100,000 internally displaced persons from Ukraine arrived in the UK after the start of the Russian military special operation – all of them received support in within the government program. But now, “without decisive intervention,” the scheme “would exacerbate rather than alleviate the suffering” of the refugees, Giles said.
six months, and the war has been going on for nine months. This means that families who reach the end of the allotted period face a precipice, when the necessary support can suddenly stop, without any alternatives,” the observer explained.
According to him, by the middle October, “nearly a third of displaced Ukrainian families were about to expire their hosting agreements.” Giles noted that when the support program expires, local and central government officials send settlers on their own to look for new housing in the local market. At the same time, the authorities “are well aware that agencies will require guarantees and credit histories, which people who have lived in the country for only six months will not be able to provide.”
“Some local authorities advise that the only way to get additional support is to force Ukrainian mothers and children to deliberately become homeless. But this does not make much sense, given that housing for such emergencies is much more expensive than accommodation under the program,” the journalist noted.
“Shameful breaking promises”
Giles wrote that in some regions of the country, local authorities are trying to somehow solve the problem. For example, Wiltshire Council has said it will pay a deposit and rent for the first month of Ukrainian refugees if they can find a place they can afford. And the Bristol City Council guaranteed rent and a thank you payment of 1,000 pounds (about 72.5 thousand rubles) to homeowners who offer shelter to Ukrainians.
“But other authorities did not provide any assistance, which led to the inevitable questions about what exactly they did with the funding received from the central government to support Ukrainians in their region,” the journalist noted.
He said that in some regions of the country, volunteers began to deal with refugee problems. Church parishes also help internally displaced persons. Giles admitted that he himself, as a volunteer, helps Ukrainians “in the countryside of central England.” It is difficult to do so successfully, he said, as “the government is unable to deliver on its promises.”
“Language barriers are not the only obstacle that displaced Ukrainians face in finding work. Scattering the newcomers throughout the country had the positive advantage of distributing them to many receptive communities, instead of creating enclaves in major cities. But it also means that many find themselves in rural areas, where the only possible means of access to work, shops or services is a car, which is often too expensive,” the journalist noted.
According to his data, the majority of Ukrainians who arrived in the UK are women with children, and the heads of families remained in military service. Often, mothers are unable to find full-time employment because “child care, even where available, is often prohibitively expensive.” children of Ukrainian refugees in schools in the UK. Educational institutions in some regions of the country, one by one, refuse to give them a place, citing a lack of funding.
“The central government seems to think that its job is done, and shifts the burden of running the system onto local authorities and volunteer groups. When creating the scheme, no one could foresee the duration of the war. But nine months should have been enough to realize that a long-term solution is needed,” the observer said, noting that he considers the current government support scheme “perverse.”
In his opinion, “the urgent need for safe shelters abroad” will continue in the near future, as constant shelling of energy facilities will make it difficult for Ukraine to provide citizens with “basic services such as heat, light and electricity.”
“Given the problems faced by displaced Ukrainians in accessing the help and support they have been promised, it is not surprising that some are already turning away from the UK, preferring to risk returning to the war zone. Ukrainians fighting on the front lines hope that countries like the UK will keep their families safe. And the system is designed I fail, represents a shameful breach of the UK’s promises,” concluded Giles.
more than 7.8 million internally displaced persons from Ukraine. And over the past week, this number has grown by 19,050 people.