The Cabinet Committee on Ukraine met yesterday to discuss the pressure on accommodation and services being provided to those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
The number of people seeking Temporary Protection in Ireland, as a consequence of the war in Ukraine, is unprecedented in the history of the State.
Ireland has never seen so many people arrive in such a short timeframe and tens of thousands are receiving assistance. More than 54,000 have arrived in Ireland from Ukraine seeking protection as a consequence of the war. This equates to almost 1.2% of the Irish population, comparing very favourably with other European countries. Presently, the State is now accommodating over 58,000 people (42,000 Ukrainian, 16,000 International Protection). This figure compares with 7,250 at this time last year.
Given the extraordinary increase in numbers over the past fortnight, in particular, the situation is particularly acute regarding the provision of accommodation for those seeking protection.
The Cabinet Committee yesterday considered proposals on policy and service provision issues which have been prepared based on data and modelling.
The government is very conscious of its international obligations to those seeking protection in the short, medium and longer term. Nevertheless, the government is clear that in the face of further arrivals there are significant capacity challenges ahead.
In this context, the Cabinet Committee agreed that a number of measures were required in order to:
- Ensure that the Temporary Protection Framework supports a standardised approach to provision of accommodation and related services across different accommodation offerings.
- Accelerate work on all possible additional accommodation options (emergency accommodation, refurbished buildings, “rapid build” housing units).
- Launch a new, local authority-led, call for vacant properties/holiday homes urgently.
- Increase the recognition payment for those offering accommodation in their homes.
- Provide additional resources at local level in recognition of those communities/local communities at the forefront of the response
improve the International Protection processes.
- Ensure clear pathways out of Direct Provision accommodation for those granted status.
Decisions on the detail of these measures will be considered and agreed by Government in the coming days.