Possibility of paying people to host Ukrainian refugees is being explored, says Minister

The number of refugees arriving in Ireland had decreased in the last week, according to the Minister for Children.
Possibility of paying people to host Ukrainian refugees is being explored, says Minister

Vivienne Clarke

Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman has said that the possibility of paying people to host refugees from Ukraine in their homes is being examined by the Department of Public Expenditure.

No decision has been made, he told RTÉ radio’s News at One, but that any payment would have to apply to everyone and distinction should not be made between those who provide a full property and those who bring people into their own home.

Mr O’Gorman said that, to date, 21,000 people fleeing Ukraine had arrived in Ireland, of whom 13,400 were being provided with accommodation by the State in hotels and Bed & Breakfasts.

The next move will be into pledged accommodation and the army has been assisting the Red Cross in contacting the 25,000 people who pledged accommodation in the past five weeks.

Over half of the pledges have been contacted so far, and it is hoped that the remainder will be contacted in the coming week.

The number of refugees arriving had decreased in the last week, said Mr Gorman, and it was unhelpful to speculate how many more would arrive especially with the prospect of more fighting in eastern Ukraine.

However, Mr O’Gorman warned that it was not possible to accommodate all refugees in hotels or own room accommodation.

“It is tight. We have to be upfront.”

It might be necessary to look at the use of larger scale accommodation such as Millstreet, which was not ideal, but might be necessary, he said.

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