Ukraine: government launches platform for reception of refugees

UKRAINE CRISIS – Strong citizen mobilization. While two million Ukrainians have left their country since the invasion by Russia and several thousand have already arrived in France, many French people offer to help them. A move that the authorities want to support thanks to a platform called “I am committed to Ukraine”.

According to Prime Minister Jean Castex, who visited a reception center at the Porte de la Chapelle in Paris on Tuesday, March 8, 10,798 accommodation places have already been offered. In detail, the head of government explained, these are broken down as follows: 5,978 accommodation listings from individuals, 3,683 from communities and 1,137 from “large accommodation operators”.

An outpouring of “huge” generosity

And these numbers should continue to rise in the coming days, thanks in particular to the platform launched Tuesday and accessible at the address, as Jean Castex further indicated, in the company of the Delegate Minister for Citizenship Marlene Schiappa.

On franceinfo, the latter also welcomed the spontaneous support of the population: “It is not so much that we appeal to the French, it is above all that the French have an outpouring of generosity that is enormous for the Ukrainians.”

On this site it is therefore possible – as an individual volunteer, but also as an association or collective citizen – to offer shelter to families who enter the country in larger numbers every day. But not alone.

The platform also acts as an interface between French people who want to help and associations looking for work. For example, with a few clicks it is possible to volunteer to carry out translation missions, participate in food collections or support displaced persons in their efforts to find a job in France.

Making life easier for exiles

All these tasks, including housing, are initially offered by associations such as Emmaüs, Singa or local food banks, and a search engine makes it possible to find a way to be useful not far from home, wherever we live in France .

“You can register on this platform and you will be put in touch with an association that does mediation,” Marlène Schiappa told the franceinfo microphone on Tuesday morning. “You don’t have family who arrive directly because you can’t improvise as a host.”

In the same way, “I am committed to Ukraine” allows associations to recruit volunteers or make their actions visible.

And finally, the site contains several useful links for Ukrainian citizens who need to consult the latest official information, get vaccinated against Covid or find emergency shelter upon their arrival in France.

According to figures presented by Jean Castex on Tuesday morning, which come from the Border Police (PAF), some 5,000 Ukrainians have arrived on the national territory since the start of the Russian invasion. But this data is very difficult to quantify, travelers sometimes travel alone to other countries, especially the United Kingdom.

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