More than 124,000 Ukrainian refugees now have temporary protection and 8,100 have found work in three months

News - 2022.6.20

The minister stressed that "Spain's experience in dealing with other migration crises, the European impetus in applying the temporary protection directive and the coordination of the different ministries have made it possible to deal with the emergency and have facilitated the rapid documentation, reception and integration of the displaced Ukrainians".

The report highlights the substantive nature of the challenge that has had to be addressed due to the magnitude and characteristics of the people who have arrived in Spain, as well as their concentration in time. The minister highlighted "the constant interaction with entities in the sector, associations of Ukrainians, civil society with its commitment and solidarity, the autonomous communities and town councils".

In little more than three months since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Spain, through the Ministry of the Interior, has processed the granting of temporary protection (which includes permission to work and reside) to more than 124,000 people, making Spain the fourth country in Europe in terms of the number of protection grants at the end of May. In addition, the entities working with the Ministry of Inclusion in the reception system have attended to 122,000 people, three times the usual volume of care for refugees in a standard year. 21,000 of them remain in places in the state's reception system, which shows the enormous capacity of the state network to adapt to the needs posed by a migratory challenge of this size.

The government has also managed 10 flights to transport 611 very vulnerable people to Spain, including the 55 children who arrived on three flights to Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia to receive cancer treatment, the 84 disabled children who arrived in Asturias and the 87 orphaned children who arrived in Madrid. War wounded are also being cared for.

In this emergency phase, the Reception, Care and Referral Centres (CREADE) located in Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante and Malaga have played a key role in centralising the care of people arriving from the war in Ukraine. The dedicated staff from the Ministries of Inclusion and Interior, third sector entities and specialised institutions, such as UNHCR, have guaranteed a very rapid response both with documentation (residence and work permits are obtained within 24 hours) and with managing the reception system, offering more stable housing resources in a very rapid and efficient manner to all those who wish to enter the state reception system, according to the report.

These centres, moreover, have gone from offering emergency care in the first instance to being reconverted into places for socio-occupational and psychological guidance, without losing their initial function.

Minister Escrivá also pointed out that for all the displaced persons outside the reception system, work is being done on a new framework of aid that will allow family support networks to remain active. To this effect, the Ministry is designing a benefit that could amount to 400 euros per month per family, plus another 100 euros per month for each dependent child. Among the requirements to qualify for this new framework of aid are, among others, being a beneficiary of temporary protection and lacking the financial means to meet basic needs.

In addition to the key role played by the CREADEs, other initiatives have been launched to assist displaced people. First, a call centre was set up with a 24-hour information line - 91 047 44 44 - in both Ukrainian and Spanish, which has received 81,000 calls, half of them for appointments, and a website that has received 374,000 views in less than three months. This initial phase has been highly valued by citizens, as testified by some surveys such as the one carried out by the Sociological Research Centre.

The inclusion phase has followed on from the emergency phase, and although the profile of this population is different from that of other migratory movements, with 34% minors and 73% women among the adults, their needs have been met without incident. Proof of this, as highlighted in the report, is that more than 8,100 people who have arrived in the last three months from Ukraine are already working and 47,000 have social security numbers. A total of 22,000 children under 18 are in school and 48,000 people have individual health cards.

A key role in the integration of refugees into the labour market is being played by the specialised units of CEOE and the Social Security, which have been set up in the CREADEs and offer job counselling and advertise vacancies preferably for Ukrainians.

Another new element in the reception of these refugees is the family foster care programme designed by the Ministry of Inclusion and the "la Caixa" Foundation to coordinate the network of host families for displaced persons. The Acoge Ukraine project has been developed in a first phase in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and Murcia, and there are already almost 100 families in the process of hosting.

According to the data published in the interactive infographic produced by the Subdirectorate General for Migration Analysis of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, more than 65,000 people (28,837 families) displaced by the war in Ukraine have been assisted in the CREADEs since they were set up. All of them have been granted temporary protection and permission to work and reside, and 10,608 of the total were also in need of emergency shelter.

When analysed by centre, the one located in Pozuelo de Alarcón has the highest activity. It has attended to 22,500 people, closely followed by the centre located in Barcelona (21,680). A further 12,654 people have passed through the Ciudad de La Luz centre (Alicante) and 8,560 through the Malaga centre.

Of the total number of Ukrainians attended to in these centres, 62% have completed higher education and 26% have a baccalaureate or vocational training. Among the most common professions are economists, engineers, computer scientists and businessmen/administrators.

A total of 53% arrived by road transport (car and bus), 41% by plane and 5% by train. In terms of the main regions of origin, the largest percentage at 36% come from Kiev (city and region), followed by Kharkiv (9.1%), L'Viv (7.3%) and Odessa (8.9%).

Although the reception of Ukrainian refugees has been one of the main challenges addressed by the Ministry of Inclusion in terms of international protection in recent months, it has not been the only one. Ten months ago, the so-called 'Operation Antigone' facilitated the arrival of almost 2,400 Spanish and EU collaborators from Afghanistan through a hub installed at the Torrejón de Ardoz air base. Almost 500 families were welcomed into our system.

In addition, with the approval of the National Resettlement Programme, 1,200 people are expected to be accommodated by 2022. To date, 581 people have arrived from Syria.

Last, the minister stressed that the new reception regulations will strengthen the system to improve its efficiency and increase its legal security. The aim is to build new centres throughout the country.

Non official translation