Paused Life: Intentions and Perspectives of Refugees from Ukrainebased on 4,800 responses from people who have fled brutal war in their homeland and are now living in countries in Europe and beyond.
The survey was conducted between August and September.
Stay booked for now
Seven months after the start of the conflict, the Ukrainian refugees are still grateful for the warm welcome they have received across Europe, and most plan to stay until now, speak Matthew Saltmarsh, a UNHCR Spokesperson in Geneva.
The majority, 81%, going back home to reunite with their families, but only 13% plan to do so in the next three months.
“Much of Ukraine remains devastated, with towns and livelihoods destroyed in many areas. The onset of winter and rising energy prices – or the lack of electricity – make it difficult to return home at this time for many displaced people,” he said.
Wish to contribute
Many refugees surveyed mentioned positive factors in their home countrysuch as their links to family or friends, security and stability, availability of health services, access to education and overall economic situation.
Most are highly educated, willing to work and eager to contribute. About 70% have a higher education, and two-thirds have previously worked in Ukraine.
“The refugees are desire to re-enter the labor marketthis will lessen their dependence on welfare, but currently, less than a third are employed or self-employed,” said Mr. Saltmarsh.
They want to play a more active role in their new community, he added, but need support such as language classes, formal recognition of skills and, importantly, support with care services. children so that they can work outside the home.
Fight to survive
Three-quarters of those surveyed said they intend to send their children to local schools, while 18% prefer distance learning using the Ukrainian curriculum.
Without work, many are struggling to make ends meet and find adequate housing. Nearly half, 41 percent, are staying with host families, and 20 percent live in dormitories or hotels. A quarter are rented.
“Many are deeply concerned about finding sustainable alternatives before winter,” said Mr. Saltmarsh.
Meanwhile, psychological support and specialized help for children with disabilities and the elderly, is one of their remaining pressing needs.
The majority of refugees, 87%, are women and children, and almost a third have family members with at least one disability.
Support at home and more
With more than 7.4 million Ukrainian refugees across Europe, UNHCR is calling for continued support from host countries to ensure they have access to adequate support, as well as socioeconomic inclusion.
The agency also continues to operate in Ukraine, where nearly seven million people have been uprooted.
As winter approaches, staff are working on repairs and insulation of homes for vulnerable families.
More than 815,000 people have received food and non-food items, including winter clothing, while more than 31,000 people have received emergency shelter materials.
UNHCR aims to distribute emergency shelter kits to more than 100,000 people by the end of the year.