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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has promised ‘all the protection and opportunities possible’ for the estimated total of 110,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Spain to date, adding that his government will make them ‘feel at home’.
Sánchez was speaking during a visit on Friday to the ‘Reception, Care and Referral Centre’ for Ukrainian refugees in Barcelona, which has been set up in a pavilion at the FIRA exhibition centre.
The prime minister stressed that ‘we are setting an example of collaboration, cooperation and institutional coordination, which echoes the current need for solidarity among all the citizens of Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain with the refugees from Ukraine’.
As of today [Monday 11 April], 48,979 displaced persons from Ukraine have now been assisted and almost 52,000 requests for temporary protection have been granted, all requested. Of the total, 39.4% are minors. More than 13,000 have already been enrolled in school, almost twice as many as a week ago.
Spain has now set up four Reception, Care and Referral Centres, in Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante and Málaga. ALSO READ: Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Málaga – main reception centres for Ukrainians.
Spain’s ‘National War Response Plan’ foresees an extraordinary budget of 1.2 billion euros in 2022 for the reception of refugees from Ukraine, as an advance on the European funds that will finance this response.
Sánchez defended peace and expressed his conviction that Ukraine will resist, Europe will prevail, and war crimes will not go unpunished, during his visit.
‘What is happening in Ukraine is a challenge to all European citizens,’ he said, ‘because Putin is attacking Europe, trying to weaken the European project, which is based on human rights, democracy, freedom and peace.’
In Spain, displaced Ukrainians will not only have the right to work and residence permits, but also access to a wide range of benefits, ranging from accommodation and food, legal and psychosocial assistance, employment assistance, health care, schooling and financial aid.
Spain has set up a dedicated portal that provides information on services, telephone numbers and addresses, and places to carry out formalities. Click here to access it in Spanish, and here in Ukrainian.