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Current Affairs

Homes for Ukraine refugee scheme

Date: 21 March 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The government of UK has introduced the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, which allows residents to host displaced Ukrainians.

 

Background

The war in Ukraine has displaced millions, who have fled to neighboring countries in Europe. The number of refugees is increasing fast.

 

Details

  • Under the schemes, citizens of UK can host Ukrainian refugees in their own homes or independent accommodation for six months to a year.

  • Many dignitaries have volunteered to register for the scheme including Secretary Michael Gove and actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

 

Working of the scheme

  • Individuals, charities, communities groups and businesses in the UK will be allowed to bring in Ukrainians under the scheme.

  • Under the first phase, host will be given choice to choose an individual, more than one adult or adults with children for hosting.

  • Even though the rooms will be rent-free, the government will give £350 a month as optional thank you payment.

  • The government will provide local authorities £10,000 per refugee, besides funds for providing education to school children.

 

Applying for beneficiaries

  • Ukrainians can directly apply online for entry without the need to visit a visa application centre. They can remain in UK for three years.

  • They can get access to full state benefits like healthcare, schooling, and employment. They will have to undergo biometric checks.

 

Criticism

  • Opposition parties have criticized the move to involve citizens for the scheme. They have asked for implementing the Gateway Protection Programme.

  • There are questions about the six months stay if refugees are unable to find work. The tenure of three years is also questioned if the war extends beyond it.

 

UNHCR

  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is a UN body mandated to aid and protect refugees.

  • The body will also assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.