Analyzing How to Open Emergency Relief Shelter

Vala Hafstað

A total of 104 Ukrainian citizens have applied for international protection in Iceland since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began February 24 — 50 women, 30 children and 24 men, reports.

Last week, the European Union activated the Temporary Protection Directive to offer quick and effective assistance to people fleeing the war in. As a result, Ukrainian refugees will be granted temporary protection in the European Union, including a residence permit and access to education and the labor market.

Icelandic Minister of Justice Jón Gunnarsson subsequently activated Article 44 of the Foreign Nationals Act, which allows joint protection of refugees from specific areas.

Strain on the reception system at the Icelandic border, due to the arrival of refugees, is reaching a limit, and due to an overload at the border, a contingency plan has been activated and is presently at an alert stage.

A committee is presently analyzing what resources are needed to be able to open an emergency relief shelter, as well as to create a reception area for assistance and registration.

Friends and relatives of refugees who have arrivied here have provided two out of three of the refugees with accommodation in Iceland, but when that’s not an option, the Directorate of Immigration has assisted with providing accommodation.

It is estimated that close to 250 people with ties to Ukraine will have applied for international protection in Iceland by the end of the month.

Thanks to an initiative by Wizz Air, the flight from Ukraine to Iceland costs no more than EUR 70 (USD 77; ISK 10,000).

About half of those who have applied for international protection in Iceland, due to the war in Ukraine, arrived here by scheduled flights from Warsaw and Budapest. Lately, there have been 38 scheduled flights a week from Poland and eight a week from Hungary. 


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