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European Commission plans to extend temporary protection for Ukrainian refugees until March 2025

The Commission proposes to extend the temporary protection offered to refugees fleeing hostilities in Ukraine from 4 March 2024 to 3 March 2025, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The initiative aims to provide security and assistance to more than four million protection beneficiaries across the EU. In its statement of 19 September, the EU Commission justified the expediency of extending the protection measures.

According to the Commission, the extension is an appropriate response to the ongoing precarious circumstances that have so far failed to create conditions for the safe and sustainable repatriation of those under temporary protection in the EU.

The Temporary Protection Directive provides immediate protection and access to various rights in the EU, including the right of residence, access to the labour market, housing, social assistance, medical aid or others.

The Czech Republic is among the countries that have already extended the temporary protection status for Ukrainian women until the end of March 2025. Czechia has granted refugee status to 331,850 people, which is eight per cent of the total number of beneficiaries.

Earlier, the EU Statistical Office, Eurostat, informed that since the start of the military conflict in Ukraine, EU countries had granted temporary protection to almost four million people fleeing the hostilities.

According to the data, Germany has granted temporary protection status to 28 per cent of the total number of refugees, or more than one million people. Poland is next on the list, having granted protection to 995,035 people, accounting for 25 per cent of the total.

The total number of beneficiaries increased by 1.3 per cent, equivalent to an additional 51,010 refugees. Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic have seen a notable increase.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, as of 19 September 2023, 5,828,000 Ukrainian refugees are registered in Europe. A total of 6,197,200 people arrived from Ukraine have been registered globally.

According to Eurostat, Poland actively supports Ukrainian refugees. Until now, the country accommodated a total of 959,875 refugees. It also granted 28,445 temporary protection statuses in January of this year. At the same time, the Czech Republic welcomed a total of 368,300 Ukrainians.

UNHCR further noted that even Moldova played an important role in supporting Ukrainian refugees, registering 116,950 people. 108,500 Ukrainians also found asylum in Slovakia.

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