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Russia-Ukraine war: British households can welcome Ukrainian refugees into their own homes

Further details are expected to be announced on Monday.

brits to be asked to house ukrainian refugees
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An upcoming scheme will allow British households to welcome Ukrainians into their homes, as new figures reveal that 2.5 million people have fled the war in Ukraine since Russia's invasion on 24th February.

Defending the UK's response to the refugee crisis, Boris Johnson told Sky News' Beth Rigby Interviews programme that the UK vows to be 'generous' with refugees from Ukraine — despite taking in just 1,000 so far.

'On Monday 14th March, you'll get from the Levelling Up Secretary the programme that will allow people to come in. So (if) people want to welcome (refugees) into their own homes, they can do so,' the Prime Minister said.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove is expected to set out details of the new 'sponsored' humanitarian plans to allow refugees to come to the UK. The new plans will include a hotline and webpage where households, charities, community groups and businesses will be able to apply to offer rooms.

A Ukrainian refugee clutching her baby crosses the border into Slovakia
Chris FurlongGetty Images

Refugees will be allowed to stay for an initial period of 12 months, where they will be entitled to work, claim benefits and access public services, The Daily Telegraph reports. If you want to offer housing, you will have to agree to take the refugees for a minimum period (possibly around six months) and demonstrate that you meet appropriate standards.

As it stands, Ukrainian refugees can only get a UK visa if they have family settled here, but this new announcement is expected to give details of another scheme allowing people to come to the country if they have an individual or organisation to sponsor them, such as a household offering accommodation.

A young boy flees Ukraine by train
EMRE CAYLAKGetty Images

'We're going to be making announcements in the very near future about a scheme for UK local authorities, and indeed UK families, to welcome Ukrainian refugees, we've announced that principle and the details of how that scheme works will be laid out in the very near future,' technology minister Chris Philp told Sky News.

Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said the number of Ukrainians fleeing their homes is rising. He tweeted: 'The number of refugees from Ukraine — tragically — has reached today 2.5 million. We also estimate that about two million people are displaced inside Ukraine. Millions forced to leave their homes by this senseless war.'

There are a number of charities providing humanitarian relief in Ukraine. To donate, please find a list of recommended organisations below:

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