In the first 90 days since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, state authorities, non-governmental organisations and entrepreneurs have done a lot to help refugees, but there are concerns that it is still unclear how refugees will be assisted after the 90-day state aid period.
Jākobsone said that many people from Ukraine are unable to enter the Latvian labor market because there are many women with small children, older people, and people with disabilities. “Maybe some of them will be able to enter the labour market, but most of them will not be able to,” said Jākobsone.
If people cannot enter the labour market, housing will also be difficult to find, said Jākobsone. She noted that the housing market as a whole is limited. Similarly, people with vacant housing are not very willing to rent it out to Ukrainian war refugees because they want to rent out their properties for a longer period of time, whereas people from Ukraine are also considering going back home in the near future, said Jākobsone.
Several Latvian municipalities have concerns about the accommodation of Ukrainian refugees following the end of state aid.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, more than 5.8 million people have left Ukraine. According to official data, more than 26,000 Ukrainian civilians, mainly women and children, arrived in Latvia. The Latvian government is preparing to accommodate around 40,000 Ukrainian civilians in Latvia, including those who have come so far. A total of €116.28 million has been set aside for various aid measures, including compensation for refugees.