In addition to welcoming and caring for Ukrainian refugees, about two months after the start of the war, their integration is becoming an increasingly important goal.
At a summit on refugees in the Chancellery, federal, state and local governments agreed that, above all, childcare and education must be improved. Because most of the refugees are women with children. Many Ukrainian refugee women are educated, but very few speak German.
“Cities, together with federal states, have started organizing crèches and lessons for Ukrainian children – we need significantly more capacity here,” said the president of the German Association of Cities, Mayor Markus Lewe (CDU) on Monday. ), at the beginning of the conversation Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and other cabinet members attended. The federal government should contribute to the costs, the city council asked. Rapid recognition procedures are also needed for Ukrainian teachers and educators.
Many want to go back quickly
However, the authorities, humanitarian organizations and volunteers dealing with arrivals since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine signal the difficulty of preparing for a situation that depends on the course of the war and is therefore difficult to plan. “Many want to return as soon as possible. Some already are. But if we look at Mariupol or Donbass, a quick return is not possible for everyone,” said Federal Government Integration Commissioner Reem Alabali-Radovan (SPD ). He watches the great destruction in these areas. That is why they now need prospects and participation opportunities in Germany.
By Monday, federal police had determined that 379,123 war refugees from Ukraine had entered the country. As Ukrainians can enter the country for 90 days without a visa and there are usually no stationary checks at the EU’s internal borders, the exact number of war refugees is likely to be significantly higher. Ukrainians only need to register after 180 days or if they apply for state benefits in advance. By the end of last week, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) had registered around 180,000 people seeking protection from Ukraine and treated them for identification purposes. According to the Federal Ministry of Interior, among them are about 7,500 people with non-Ukrainian citizenship.
69 percent are women
According to information, about 69% of registered Ukrainian citizens are women. About 39 percent of Ukrainians known to Bamf seeking protection are children. “There must be a centralized registration of unaccompanied refugee children from Ukraine as soon as possible,” Save the Children’s CEO Florian Westphal said after the German news agency meeting. Some minors also entered the country accompanied by “distant acquaintances”. It is important that local youth assistance offices are also informed about this group, including where these children and young people are privately hosted. In his opinion, it would be desirable to create safe places where children can play and be cared for wherever new refugees have arrived. There is also an opportunity to identify possible problems and the need for treatment.
According to the participants, the chairman of the Conference of Prime Ministers, the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Hendrik Wüst (CDU), said it was important to promote Ukrainian culture in Germany. Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to “wipe out the Ukrainian people and their identity”, which must be resisted.
Alabali-Radovan thanked the towns for hosting so many people in such a short time. He said the federal government will provide financial support and that the cabinet will decide on an additional budget this Wednesday.
Non-public meeting to follow
“From the moving encounters with refugees, we can only imagine what incredible suffering Russian troops are inflicting on the civilian population,” said Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD). According to the participants, there were also emotional moments during the non-public meeting in the Chancellery, to which representatives of several Ukrainian clubs were invited.
In contrast to the refugee crisis of 2015, this time there are also numerous elderly people with care needs among the refugees. About 60 people in Germany are cared for by elderly Holocaust survivors, who were rescued through an evacuation organized by the Jewish Claims Conference. (Dpa)