Jean Yves Bouchardy, UNHCR Representative in the Republic of Belarus, continues visiting the regions in order to assess the situation in the sphere of forced migration, in particular, the questions related to the increase of the number of Ukraine citizens seeking for asylum in Belarus.
On February 18—20, 2015 jointly with Zeynal Hajiev, Head of the International Organization for Migration Office in Belarus, he visited Vitebsk oblast. During the visit on 18 February the guests visited Vitebsk Temporary Accommodation Center. On 19 February the guests had a meeting in the office of the Red Cross oblast organization to discuss the migration situation in Belarus and the need to provide help to people from Kherson and Odessa Oblast, Dnepropetrovsk.
According to the Chairman of Vitebsk Office of BRCS Galina Zhelanova, as of the end of the previous year about 4.5 thousand citizens of Ukraine arrived in Vitebsk oblast. Over 300 persons applied for refugee status. During the short-term period about 45 million BYR were transferred to the charity account. Vitebsk region citizens continue providing Ukrainians with cloths, other supplies. International organizations also provide significant assistance.
On 20 February representatives of the international organizations visited Vitebsk district in order to meet the family of Ukrainian migrants employed there. The official visit ended up with the meeting in the Vitebsk Oblast Executive Committee. In the course of the meeting it was noted that in 2014 about 1.3 thousand citizens of Ukraine turned to the state bodies on labour, employment and social protection. The majority of them arrived from Donest and Lugansk regions.
Following the visit Jean Yves Bouchardy claimed that both international organizations will draft proposals to get financing from the European Union. The project will be mainly aimed at the adaptation of those Ukrainians who are staying in Belarus, including in Vitebsk Oblast.
Read more here: UNHCR, IOM offices in Belarus to draft joint project on Ukrainian migrants (eng, BelTA, from 19/02/2015)
Jean Yves Bouchardy: Refugees from Ukraine who arrived in Vitebsk oblast are provided with comprehensive assistance (rus, newspaper "Vitbichi", from 23/02/2015)