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UN: Most Ukrainian refugees still want to return home, but their share has decreased

21 Feb, 2024
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UN: Most Ukrainian refugees still want to return home, but their share has decreased

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The majority of surveyed Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced persons (65% and 72% respectively) still express a desire to return home one day, but their share has decreased. This is stated in a study by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), published on February 20th.

According to this data, the proportion of refugees planning or hoping to return to Ukraine in the future has decreased compared to the previous year (from 77% to 65%). Meanwhile, the share of those undecided about returning has increased (from 18% to 24%), as well as those who have no hope of returning (from 5% to 11%). A similar trend is observed among internally displaced persons.

The UNHCR report is based on interviews conducted in January and February of this year with nearly 9,900 Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced persons. The surveyed individuals mainly cited the danger in Ukraine as the primary factor hindering their return, while other issues included a lack of economic opportunities and housing.

A significant portion of surveyed Ukrainian refugees (about 59%) indicated that they might be forced to return home if they continue to face problems in host countries, mainly related to work opportunities and legal status.

Currently, more refugees are making short-term visits to Ukraine – almost 50% compared to 39% last year, mainly for visiting family members but also for checking their property. The UN believes that such visits could eventually help facilitate fully informed decisions regarding long-term return when conditions permit.

The UN emphasizes that nearly 6.5 million refugees from Ukraine are seeking shelter worldwide, and nearly 3.7 million people remain internally displaced within the country.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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