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Ireland planning for potential arrival of 200,000 Ukrainian refugees

The Irish Government has already welcomed around 10,000 Ukrainian refugees but is preparing for tens of thousands more.

22 March 2022

The Irish Government is planning for the potential arrival of 200,000 Ukrainians into the country as the Russian invasion continues.

A Cabinet meeting later on Tuesday will see ministers discuss the crisis in war-torn Ukraine as well as the Irish response.

The Irish Government has already welcomed about 10,000 Ukrainian refugees into the country but is preparing for tens of thousands more.

The 200,000 figure is based on the expectation that 2% of the 10 million people likely set to flee Ukraine could come to the Republic of Ireland.

Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue said on Tuesday that planning is continuing into how to provide adequate accommodation and support for refugees arriving into the country.

“While there isn’t the opportunity to put long-term permanent accommodation in place overnight, the best possible arrangements must be put in place to accommodate them to meet their basic needs, to ensure that they are sheltered and looked after, and have access to education and healthcare, and, indeed, employment,” he told RTE radio.

“So, it’s going to be a challenge as we move along.”

Mr McConalogue is seeking Cabinet approval for a 12 million euro (£10 million) package for tillage farmers in a bid to boost production amid the disruption caused by the war in Ukraine.

Farmers have already reported a spike in the cost of fertiliser and animal feed.

Tillage farmers will play a “really, really important” role in food production and grain production, the minister said.

However, he acknowledged the growing burden of high costs facing farmers.

“It will be more challenging this year from a cost point of view, from a supply chain point of view, I think we will meet those challenges and we will continue to ensure that we produce food as we normally do, and indeed supply internationally as well,” he said.

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