Support for Ukrainian refugees extended until next summer in Latvia

Support for Ukrainian refugees has been extended until June 30 next year, the Saeima decided Thursday, December 8. At the same time, the Parliament rejected the proposal that the working Ukrainian refugees should be obliged to learn Latvian.

The aid for 120-day accommodation and 30-day catering for Ukrainian refugees was scheduled to expire by the end of this year. Nine more refugee groups, such as seniors, pregnant women, or people with disabilities, have an unlimited period of support. The new plan needs €204 million to be implemented in the budget for next year, Interior Minister Kristaps Eklons said.

The aid is expected to continue to the current level, while certain decisions on financial opportunities for assistance will have to be taken by the next government next year.

The Ministry of Interior has previously indicated that currently Ukrainian refugees cross the Latvian border mainly through Russia and Belarus, but most of them don't stay in Latvia. The Ministry said that the number of refugees could increase.

More than 37,000 Ukrainian refugees have received residence permits in Latvia, some of whom have returned to the war-stricken country. Nearly 35,000 people have asked local governments for help in Latvia, with 11,535 refugees housed. 

The draft plan of the Ministry of Interior foresees a scenario with 40,000 Ukrainian refugees in Latvia, with total costs of up to €215 million.

 

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