Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has announced that Italy has increased funds to support Ukrainian refugees in the country from €500 million to 800 million.
"The war in Ukraine has caused a humanitarian catastrophe. Millions of people, especially women and children, have left the country to seek refuge in the EU," Italy's prime minister, Mario Draghi, said Thursday, May 5, speaking via videoconference at the High-Level International Donors' Conference for Ukraine.
"We must help Ukraine. Italy has already allocated about €500 million to support Ukrainian refugees. I am pleased to announce that that we have just increased that amount to over 800 million," Draghi added.
"Ukraine deserves all the support we can (give it, Ed.). Italy will continue to do its part," the prime minister added in his video message.
"We have transferred 110 million to support the Ukrainian general budget and we expect to lend up to 200 million euros more. We have donated €26 million to international organizations such as the Red Cross, UNICEF, and UNHCR. We are donating humanitarian and medical goods including ambulances, tents, and medicines," he said.
Civil protection urges close monitoring of refugee hosting
On Thursday, Italian Civil Protection chief Fabrizio Curcio noted that 107,000 Ukrainian refugees had arrived in Italy, "90% of whom women and children. Many are still being hosted in homes found through family and friendship networks. Our aim is to maintain the level of monitoring high."
He was speaking in Bolzano, where he visited refugee reception facilities. Curcio added that "the evolution (of the situation, Ed.) does not depend on us but on the war, unfortunately. The system for the moment is working well but we must always be ready" for any changes.
About a million people have re-entered the war-torn country "but this does not mean that there is a clearly defined return flow."
"Everything will depend on how the situation in Ukraine evolves. Making a prediction on flows is difficult. Many people arriving in Italy already had links (to the country, ed.), while most of the refugees had remained in areas near (Ukrainian, Ed.) borders," he added.
"The issue of children is very important, including as concerns procedures and registration. I very much like the space opened to them here in Bolzano, where children are protected and can indulge their imagination -- and this is what these children lack" he concluded.