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Britain has announced a program “Home for Ukraine” to support refugees

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Britain has announced a program


LONDON – In connection with the increase in humanitarian casualties in Ukraine, the British government announced on Monday a program for British residents to sponsor Ukrainian refugees, amid widespread criticism of limited routes for those fleeing the war.

Introduced three weeks after the invasion, a program called “Home for Ukraine” offers a new route for Ukrainian refugees to come to Britain, which was previously limited joining family members who already live there.

The war in Ukraine led to what the United Nations called the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II. So far, 2.8 million refugees have fled the country, most of them heading to border countries such as Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.

But a growing number of critics, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative MPs, opposition lawmakers and French President Emmanuel Macron, have criticized Britain for not doing enough to help Ukrainian refugees. In particular, human rights organizations complain about the bureaucratic red tape demanded by people fleeing the war.

Despite expanding the right for those Ukrainians who could potentially come to Britain, the country still requires visas, unlike the European Union, which has waived all visa requirements for people fleeing the war, allowing them to stay for up to three years. .

Starting Monday, people and organizations that do not know anyone fleeing Ukraine but want to sponsor someone can register their interest on the government website. And from Friday, Ukrainians and their immediate family members, who are already connected to specific people in the UK who want to sponsor them, can apply to participate in the program, the government said.

The government has said it will give the owners £ 350 a month, or about $ 455, per family.

Michael Gove, the UK’s Secretary of State for Housing, Housing and Communities, said there would be no restrictions on the number of Ukrainians who could enter the UK. through the new program and stressed the need to “minimize bureaucracy” and make the process as simple as possible.

“Our country has a long history of supporting the most vulnerable,” Mr Gove said, announcing the plan to parliament, pointing to historic moments when refugees were being deported to Britain. “The British people have already opened their hearts in many ways, I hope many will also be able to open their homes.”

Earlier in the day, UK Health Minister Sajid Javid announced that 21 Ukrainian children with cancer had been evacuated to Poland. was brought to Britain for treatment.

Opposition politicians continued to criticize the government’s approach. Lisa Nandy, an opposition Labor MP, said in response to the announcement that, while she welcomed the expansion of the refugee admission program, “the press release is not a plan, and we are really deeply concerned about the lack of urgency.”

“We are far behind the generosity of other countries,” she said, noting that the British government has been slow to issue family visas and now requires people fleeing the war to fill out 50 pages of documents online.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Ukrainian family scheme had received 17,100 applications and issued 4,000 visas, although it is unclear how many of these people have so far traveled to Britain. according to the latest government data.

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