Jean Yves Bouchardy, UNHCR Representative in the Republic of Belarus, and Zeynal Hajiev, Head of the International Organization for Migration Office in Belarus, completed their joint visits to Belarusian regions.
On March, 4-6 representatives of international organizations visited Mogilev oblast 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. The visit included meetings with Mogilev Oblast Executive Committee leadership, Head of the Office on Citizenship and Migration of Mogilev Oblast Executive Committee, with representatives of Belarusian Red Cross Society.
During their visits heads of organizations make particular focus on communication with citizens of Ukraine. Thus, during this visit UNHCR and IOM delegations met citizens of Ukraine seeking for asylum in Belarus, residing in rural area and working on a collective farm in Mogilev oblast.
On March, 12-13 a two-day visit was made to Gomel oblast, where Jean Yves Bouchardy announced the results of a survey conducted by UNHCR. According to the results, about 60% of forced migrants from Ukraine who mainly arrived from Donetsk and Lugansk regions are planning to remain in Belarus. UNHCR Representative highly assessed the work of local authorities, the Head of Gomel oblast as well as the work of all citizens of the region related to social adaptation of forced migrants. He also visited the Crisis Department of the Center for Temporary Accomodation, Psychological and Social Adaptation of Refugees of Gomel City Center of Social Service for Families and Children. He also met Syrian refugees as well as citizens of Lugansk and Donetsk regions who moved to Gomel region.
In the course of the visit Jean Yves Bouchardy also noted that the question of the UNHCR project's prospects in Belarus is unclear. Due to the situation in Ukraine Belarus received a big number of migrants. And this is a big burden. However, he believes that for persons who are leaving their homeland covered with fire of war this is a wonderful variant to start a new life in such country as Belarus, peaceful and calm.
Read more here: About 60% of forced migrants from Ukraine would like to remain in Belarus (rus, BelTA, from 12/03/2015)
60% of forced migrants from Urkaine would like to rest in Belarus ("SB - Belarus Segodnya", from 12/03/2015)
Jean Yves Bouchardy, UN representative: The question of our project prospects in Belarus is complicated (CTV, from 12/03/2015)