A survey published by UNHCR has found that the majority of refugees from Ukraine hope to return home as soon as possible, but around two-thirds expect to stay in their current host countries until hostilities subside.
A new report from the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, published on July 13, has found that "the majority of refugees from Ukraine hope to return home as soon as possible, but around two-thirds expect to stay in their current host countries until hostilities subside and the security situation improves."
The report, 'Lives on Hold: Profiles and Intentions of Refugees from Ukraine,' shows refugees "consistently expressing concerns about their futures due to the ongoing war, which is preventing them from making secure, long-term plans."
16% plan to return in next two months
UNHCR and its partners interviewed some 4,900 refugees from Ukraine in the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia between mid-May and mid-June 2022, in order to better understand their profiles and future intentions, a statement posted online said.
"The data showed that 16% were planning to return to Ukraine in the coming two months, with 15% of those only planning to stay temporarily to visit family, get supplies or help relatives to evacuate. Of those seeking to return, 40% were planning to do so in the next month," it noted.
"However, refugees' plans on whether to stay put or when to move varied significantly according to their regions of origin, the time elapsed since displacement and their current host countries.
A higher proportion of refugees from Kyiv and areas in the west were planning to return than those who arrived from the east and north," it added.
Aid to 1.5 million people from Ukraine since February
"Since February, UNHCR has assisted over 1.5 million people across Ukraine, expanding protection, housing and assistance programs, especially to reach those living in the areas hardest hit by the war," the statement said.
"The current focus is on preparations for the upcoming winter. UNHCR has so far this year supported nearly 200 reception and collective centers through the creation of some 74,000 beds and is planning to scale up the accommodation capacity by creating or improving another 19,000 beds, so people who have fled their homes have a dignified and warm place to sleep."
In the statement, the UNHCR explained that it would continue, subject to availability, to "support families with rental assistance and repair some damaged houses, which will benefit people who have returned to their homes. Humanitarian assistance alone is insufficient to ward off the worst effects of winter or create the livelihood opportunities and economic recovery that is urgently needed. Providing support to the government of Ukraine will be critical to ensuring safe accommodation and economic opportunities for those still in Ukraine or wishing to return," it added.