A website for Britons interested in housing and sponsoring Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion went live on Monday (14) as the government steps up its efforts to deflect anger over its response to the refugee crisis.
Prime minister Boris Johnson has sought to portray Britain as helping lead the global response to the Russian invasion – which Moscow calls a “special operation” – but his government has faced criticism over delays in accepting refugees.
The new scheme called “Homes for Ukraine” will let refugees from the war come to Britain even if they do not have family ties, the government said on Sunday (13).
Hosts, who can register their interest through homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk then Britain will pay £350 a month if they can offer refugees a spare room or property for a minimum period of six months.
Under the scheme, members of the public, charities, businesses and community groups should be able to offer accommodation via the website by the end of next week, the government said.
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(from Reuters : 3/15 & 18:04 London, UK)
Several big businesses, including retailers Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, and recruitment firm Robert Walters, have said they are keen to help with the response to the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War Two.
Stephen Edwards, Robert Walters’ chief marketing officer, said entrepreneur Emma Sinclair had pulled together businesses across all sectors who are willing to offer help.
“Robert Walters Group has offered help both in terms of hiring a number of displaced Ukrainians into our own business but also as a recruitment company we are able to represent them as potential employees for our clients,” he said.
Supermarket group Morrisons said it would welcome Ukrainian refugees “with open arms”.
“We contacted the Home Office (interior ministry) last week to offer any assistance we could through providing employment for Ukrainian refugees and we believe we could find good roles for many hundreds of men and women.”
Food and clothing retailer M&S said it was committed to supporting Ukrainian refugees with jobs and was in talks with the Home Office.
Sainsbury’s said it could offer jobs across its technology, distribution and online grocery teams.
Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, said it was supporting recent arrivals from Ukraine with hundreds of new job opportunities in its businesses in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.