Switzerland makes available 5,000 places for Ukrainian refugees
The government has allocated 5,000 places in Swiss federal asylum centres for people fleeing the war in Ukraine.
The decision was announced by the State Secretary for Migration Christine Schraner Burgener at a press conference in Zurich on Monday.
In the last few days, 847 Ukrainians have been officially registered in Switzerland. According to the authorities, they are mainly women and children. Others who have been accommodated directly by relatives or acquaintances have not yet been registered.
Most of the people fleeing the war in Ukraine are still in neighbouring countries, Burgener said.
It is unclear how many Ukrainians may seek protection in Switzerland. Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter told the NZZ am Sonntag paper on Sunday that she couldn’t say how many Ukrainians would arrive in the country.
The Ukrainian community in Switzerland is relatively small compared to other countries. There are around 11,000 people with Ukrainian nationality living in the Alpine county, including people with dual nationality.
More than 1.7 million Ukrainians fleeing Russia's invasion have so far crossed into Central Europe, the United Nation's refugee agency said on Monday. About one million are in Poland and many are in Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. An estimated four million people are expected to seek refuge outside Ukraine in the near future.
Switzerland has budgeted CHF8 million for the first phase of its humanitarian support package to Ukraine. So far, allocations include CHF2.5 million to the ICRC in Ukraine and CHF2 million to the UN emergency appeal for Ukraine, and a further CHF2 million for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' regional appeal to support Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring countries.
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