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Germany Struggles With Refugee Distribution As Ukrainian Arrivals Flood Berlin

Although all 15 federal states are able to receive Ukrainian refugees, the majority of arrivals remain in designated cities, because redistribution procedures within the country are voluntary.

As revealed by the German Interior Ministry, 50,300 refugees have arrived in the country, but these arrivals are more concentrated in some cities, especially Berlin, which is reached mainly by trains from Poland, reports.

Previously, Franziska Jaffe, the first city in Berlin, urged the government to provide support, noting that these 11,000 refugees had arrived in the capital in one day. Their housing is considered a “national mission”.

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According to a ministry spokesman, the problem is that any measures aimed at redistributing refugees to other German cities cannot be applied provided that Ukrainian citizens can enter the European Union without a visa and can travel freely within the 27-nation bloc.

The spokesperson also said, “We know that many people want to travel to where they already have family or friends.”

Previously, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched the Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP), an initiative aimed at helping to house refugees in the European Union, especially Ukraine’s neighboring countries, which have the largest number of arrivals. RRP plans to assist some 2.4 million refugees in the European Union – a number expected to reach four million by July.

In addition, the RRP wants to provide 504 million euros in funding in an effort to help Ukraine’s neighboring countries cover the needs of refugees and better absorb them.

Despite the extraordinary pace and challenges, the response of governments and local communities to receiving these million refugees has been remarkable. UNHCR staff have already moved across the region and are scaling up protection and assistance programs for refugees, to support host governments,” noted the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.

According to a report published by UNHCR earlier this week, the fund will be distributed as follows:

Poland – 185 million euros Moldova – 111 million euros – Hungary – 29 million euros – Slovakia – 30 million euros – Romania – 60 million euros – Other countries – 87.5 million euros

About 1.5 million Ukrainian citizens are expected to arrive in Poland by July 2022, followed by 250 thousand in Hungary and Romania. In addition, immigrants from Ukraine may reach 100,000 in Moldova and 50,000 in Slovakia. The remaining countries can expect more than 1.8 million asylum seekers during this period.

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