The European Union stands with all those forced to leave their homes worldwide, and has taken decisive action to provide protection to those fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Commission said in a statement issued on Friday, ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June.
“This time last year it would be unthinkable that 14 million people would be forced by Russia’s aggression to leave their homes in a single country on the European Union’s doorstep. This is the largest movement of people in Europe since the end of World War II,” said the joint statement by the European Commission and the High Representative.
The EU and its Member States have stood by Ukrainians, providing refuge to over 6 million people that have fled to neighbouring countries, primarily to Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia but also the Republic of Moldova. The majority of those fleeing are women and children, children who should never have to hide from bombs and experience the horrors of war, the statement added.
To this end, the EU activated the Temporary Protection Directive and has since granted temporary protection status to almost 3.4 million people, giving them access to the EU’s labour market, suitable accommodation, social welfare assistance, medical care, and education.
More than 100 million people are forcibly displayed around the world, from Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Myanmar to Venezuela or Burkina Faso. Working hand-in-hand with the United Nations and the international community, the EU remains a leading humanitarian and development donor helping affected populations to access food, shelter, education, health care, housing, land, livelihood support, and other basic services in situations around the world.
The statement said the EU remained more than ever committed to supporting those forced to leave their homes worldwide. “We will continue working towards political solutions to end the reasons forcing people to flee.”
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