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Red Cross appeal to public to house Ukrainian refugees


The Irish Red Cross has renewed its appeal for members of the public to consider pledging a room in their homes for Ukrainians.

The ‘Safe Homes’ appeal has also called on those with vacant properties to consider hosting families.

The pledges will take “significant pressure off State and private accommodation”, by providing those fleeing Ukraine with a safe place to stay, according to the charity.

As many as 25% of displaced Ukrainians in State sponsored accommodation are currently being housed in pledged accommodation.

The Irish Red Cross-led Consortium of Partners have placed 10,842 beneficiaries in 4,757 properties; however, it is concerned that those fleeing Ukraine will find themselves homeless here.

A revised policy, introduced on 14 March means those fleeing the war in Ukraine, who register for temporary protection and are looking for State-provided accommodation in Ireland, will be accommodated for a maximum of 90 days.

The Irish Red Cross said the pledging of accommodation has been “immensely successful” in providing temporary accommodation to those arriving in Ireland.

An online survey of those with experience of pledged accommodation conducted by the Irish Red Cross between November 2023 and February 2024 received 430 responses.

It found that displaced Ukrainians are “overwhelmingly satisfied” with their experience in hosted accommodation in Ireland.

Four in five (80%) reported being as “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their experience in pledged accommodation.

74% described the relationship with their host as “friendly and supportive” or “familial”.

Head of international and migration at the Irish Red Cross Niall O’Keeffe has appealed to the Irish public to once again “open their hearts and homes” to those who have fled Ukraine.

“This is a temporary measure and now more than ever newer refugees fleeing to safety here need our help,” he said.

In addition to the appeal for pledged accommodation, the Irish Red Cross has also called for a more “sympathetic accreditation system” for Ukrainians with professional qualifications, especially in areas where there is a scarcity of work talent.

Recent research by Ukrainian Action in Ireland found that of those who had fled here, just 9% found jobs matching their professional qualifications.

Of those who are unemployed, 30% cited the inability to work in their field, and 22% cited problems with re-certifying their qualifications.

According to the Irish Red Cross Safe Homes survey, just over one in six Ukrainians who fled to Ireland because of the conflict in their country are considering leaving again to go to another country, because of “frustrating red tape accreditation processes”, which prevent them from working in their chosen professions.

The Irish Red Cross has said there is a risk that this will result in Ireland losing the economic contribution which these individuals could make.

Mr O’Keefe has described this as “a serious missed opportunity”, given the need to fill the many skill shortage gaps in sectors like engineering, management and the medical field.

“We know from recent survey data collected by Ukrainian Action Ireland here that 89% of Ukrainians have an education level of 6 (advance/higher certificates or apprenticeship) or more and 93% were employed in Ukraine before being displaced by the war – 23% of which were business owners,” he said.

More information is available on the Irish Red Cross’ register of pledges website.


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