Wales will act as a super-sponsor for a scheme that will enable people fleeing the war to seek safety in Wales.
10,000 people have registered their intent to offer space in their home and to sponsor someone from Ukraine, as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. The first matches for the scheme are now being made and this option will be available to people fleeing Ukraine from 26 March.
The Homes for Ukraine scheme will enable people from Ukraine who don’t have existing family connections to obtain a visa to come to the UK for up to 3 years.
Today also sees the first meeting of a new Welsh Government inter-ministerial group to oversee the response to the Ukraine crisis. The group comprises of ministers from across the government as well as the Permanent Secretary and senior officials. It will meet at least weekly and will support effective emergency decision-making.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“The Homes for Ukraine scheme will help people facing desperate circumstances who are in desperate need.
“We not only have a responsibility to help people fleeing such difficult circumstances, but we have a responsibility to ensure support services are in place when people arrive. We’re working closely with people and organisations across Wales to make sure this happens.
“We want Wales to be a Nation of Sanctuary, and we’ll continue to do everything we can to make sure there is a warm welcome waiting in Wales.”
Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice, said:
“As part of our role as a super sponsor, we have been working intensely with local government in Wales; with the third sector and with wider public services to ensure all the support refugees need when they arrive in Wales are available. This includes support for people suffering trauma and ill health as a direct result of the conflict.
“We will also be able to sponsor people directly and people arriving via this route will be directed to one of the welcome centres, which are being set up across Wales before going on to medium and longer-term accommodation. This model is based on the success of the Afghan and Syrian resettlement schemes.”