Refugee flow to Latvia slows down

As the war in Ukraine continues, the flow of refugees to Latvia has stabilized after the initial peak. Difficulties with accommodation for refugees from Ukraine are still ongoing, Latvian Television reported August 10.

The largest number of long-term visas issued to Ukrainian civilians was in March and April. For example, in the third week of March, 3,398 long-term visas were issued, whereas in the first week of August there were only 329. Similar dynamics are observed with temporary residence permits – in the fourth week of March, nearly 1,000 were issued, in the first week of August only 128.

These data show Ukraine's refugee flow has stabilized. However, these people still need help from the people of Latvia.

"Nothing's over. People have exactly the same needs for some sort of primary help as it was six months back. Perhaps even more of these needs, because now we have more people who have stayed in war zones for longer, who may have absolutely nothing," said Pēteris Grūbe, head of the Rīga Support Centre for Ukrainian residents.

Meanwhile, a large part of Ukraine's civilian population passes through transit,the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) told Latvian Television. Up to now, it could be a total of 6,000 people. Part of them has gone back to Ukraine. Those who stay here still need temporary accommodation.

"We should nevertheless continue to support and engage with the public, seek this opportunity to house them in households, and provide support. I really call on the people of Latvia to come and help the local government to deal with these issues," said Ivars Nakurts, Chief of the Civil Protection Administration of VUGD.

Since the war launched by Russia began, more than 36,000 refugees from Ukraine have arrived in Latvia.

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