Latvia adopts aid measures for Ukrainian refugees

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On Thursday, March 10, the Saeima adopted amendments to the Ukrainian civilians' support law in the second - final reading, which sets out additional mechanisms for aid that Ukrainian civilians receive.

Among other things, Ukrainian refugees in Latvia are expected to receive a one-off employment benefit of €500 and will have the right to use public transport free of charge, said the Saeima Press Service.

At the beginning of the employment legal relationship, a Ukrainian civilian will be entitled to a one-off allowance of one minimum monthly salary, or €500, which will not be subject to personal income tax. It is also stipulated that the employer is entitled to employ the Ukrainian residents without performing the first mandatory health check. Ukrainian residents who are pharmacists and pharmacist assistants will be able to be employed by pharmacies, drug wholesalers, or medical establishments.

It is stipulated that the Ukrainian people will have the right to use public transport free of charge.

A new out-of-family care institution – emergency guardianship – has been introduced for children who have arrived in Latvia from Ukraine without their parents. The Law provides that a person to whom the child arrives, a person with the status of guardian, adopter, foster or guest parent or family, or the person with whom the child arrives, can be the emergency guardian. 

If a local government does not provide a place for a child in a municipal pre-school education program, the local government will cover the costs for a private service provider in accordance with the procedures and the amount specified in the Education Law and the regulatory enactments underlying it.

The law provides for continued treatment of medicinal products for patients with chronic diseases if they have a valid prescription issued in Ukraine. If the continuation of drug therapy requires narcotic drugs or psychotropic medicinal products assimilated thereto, the Ukrainian resident shall need the advice of the relevant doctor specialist in Latvia.

The changes also provide support for those Ukrainian civilians who enter Latvia with animals. The Cabinet will determine the procedures by which the animals will be registered and ensure the fulfilment of mandatory health requirements for them.

In order to facilitate the procedures for making donations to State capital companies, the Law provides for special procedures for making donations for general support of Ukrainian society. It is intended to apply a zero percent rate of value-added tax to supplies of goods delivered free of charge to public benefit organizations in Latvia on the basis of a contract or transferred to a body recognized by another Member State of the European Union with a view to providing general support to the Ukrainian public.

Amendments to the Law will enter into force on the day following their announcement, or March 11.

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