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UK govt to offer households $456 if they host Ukrainian refugees

The UK government announced that it will offer 350 pounds ($456) per month to households if they host refugees fleeing from the war-torn Ukraine, a media report said on Sunday.

Under its ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, the government called on people to “offer a spare room or an empty property to a refugee for a period of at least six months”, the BBC report said.

According to Micheal Gove, the Secretary of State for Leveling Up, Housing & Communities, the government will launch the new scheme on Monday, and “will initially enable someone – a sponsor – to nominate a named Ukrainian individual or family to stay with them in their home, or in a separate property, for six months.”

Sponsors will not be required to know them in advance – they might find them, for example, through posts on social media.

Applications would be made online, with both sponsors and refugees having to go through a home office vetting procedure. The sponsor would get a “thank you” payment of 350 pounds a month.

In a later phase, organizations such as charities and churches will be able to do the same, although there is no start date for this yet, the BBC reported.

Announcing the plan on Saturday, Gove said: “The crisis in Ukraine has sent shock waves across the world as hundreds of thousands of innocent people have been forced to flee their homes, leaving everything they know and love behind.

“The UK stands behind Ukraine in their darkest hour and the British public understand the need to get as many people to safety as quickly as we can.”

The development comes after the UK government has faced widespread criticism for its slow response to the Ukraine crisis.

So far, only 1,000 refugees have been given UK visas, the BBC said, adding that only those with family connections have been able to make an application, via the Ukraine Family Scheme.

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, over two million people have the war-torn nation.

The UN has ended it as the fastest-growing refugee crisis since the Second World War.

–IANS

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(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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