We have all witnessed the devastating impact of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the unfolding humanitarian crisis as more and more people are forced to flee their homes.
And we all want to do what we can to help those in need.
Derry City and Strabane District Council along with the other Councils in Northern Ireland is working with the NI Executive to progress with work to welcome refugees from Ukraine to Northern Ireland under the schemes run by the UK Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
The NI Executive Office are leading on this and all the information relating to the support for Ukraine is available via NI Direct - https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/ukraine-crisis
For those of you wanting to find out more about these schemes please click on the links below
Ukraine Assistance Centres
Ukraine Assistance Centres – Four Ukraine assistance centres have been set up in Ballymena, Belfast, Craigavon and Newry. For more info - https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/ukraine-assistance-centres
NI Executive and Home Office support
The NI Executive Office have informed Councils in NI that he Home Office publishes official statistics on the Homes for Ukraine Scheme on a weekly basis which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukraine-family-scheme-application-data, with a breakdown by country published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ukraine-family-scheme-application-data.
The number of people in Northern Ireland who registered an interest in being a sponsor increased to some 7,500. The NI Executive have been contacting those who expressed an interest but have not yet become a sponsor to see if they would wish to be considered for further sponsorship opportunities.
Northern Ireland has welcomed and provided assistance to 1,189 Ukrainian refugees to date. This is a combination of people arriving in Northern Ireland under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme and the Family Scheme.
Up to 14th July, 108 payments have been made to 55 sponsors (included recurring payments for eligible sponsors).
The Department for Levelling Up has not published breakdowns across local areas, but it has been encouraging to see people from all parts of Northern Ireland, urban and rural, come forward as sponsors.
Frequently Asked Questions
NI Direct also have answers to some frequently asked questions about the Homes for Ukraine scheme - Click here to view -
The public are asked to note that Government departments, Councils and the voluntary and community sector are working in partnership to ensure the necessary preparations are in place so that we stand ready to provide sanctuary to Ukrainian refugees and the necessary support to sponsors.
Support for refugees coming to Derry City and Strabane District Council
Council is currently working with the NI Executive and other Councils to offer its support to the schemes and has established an internal sub group that is working to collate information to support refugees, and sponsors, from community and voluntary organisations, churches and faith-based groups.