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AP Interview: Refugee Head Sees Lessons from Ukraine's Crisis

Europe's acceptance of millions of Ukrainians fleeing Russian aggression has shown that it can accommodate large numbers of asylum seekers. This approach should also be replicated to accommodate people who have fled from other countries, said the United Nations Secretary-General.

In an interview with The Associated Press, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi described the European Union's response as "exemplary", saying that about four million Ukrainians, mostly women and children, I pointed out that I registered for temporary protection of the block. System since the start of the war almost half a year ago.

This is in stark contrast to recent EU efforts to stop migrants from Africa and the Middle East from reaching Europe's shores. Some European leaders have sought to distinguish between the plight of Ukrainians and that of other refugees - a distinction that Grundy denounced as "racist." is possible for so many people, and it has proven so effective, that some of these approaches could be used by others who are coming knocking on Europe's door. Why don't you use it for yours too?" asked Grundy.

The EU's emergency protection system was created decades ago, but he launched it for the first time this year after over six million Ukrainians fled in just a few months. it was done. Refugees the continent has seen since World War II. This will allow Ukrainians to move within the bloc, give them the right to work, and facilitate access to housing, education and health care.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi speaks to The Associated Press at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, Aug. 17, 2022.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi told his Associated Press: I'm talking like this. His UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, 17 August 2022.

UNHCR is credited with helping Europe avoid setting up refugee camps for Ukrainians like those in Greece. . Over the years, the thousands of asylum seekers who arrived by boat have often suffered.

After the 2015-16 refugee crisis, when more than one million of her people arrived in Europe by land or sea, mainly from Syria, the leader put up a fence inside his EU. I set it up and prevented many people from going deeper. Continent. Brock has also spent billions of dollars to prevent people from reaching shore, including those fleeing poverty as well as persecution and conflict, before the departure of migrants to countries such as Turkey, Libya and Morocco. provided funding to stop

According to the European Border and Coast Guard, the number of illegal immigrants into Europe has fallen from a peak in 2015 to below 200,000 by 2021, but is set to rise again this year. It has increased. Such border crossings often get a lot of attention, but more than 80% of the world's refugees are hosted in developing countries, according to UNHCR.

"European government leaders spent hours and days negotiating where to take 100 people floating on boats in the Mediterranean," Grandi said. He cited European leaders' inability to agree on how to resettle them. In recent years it has arrived in Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain. “And on the contrary, millions of [Ukrainians] accepted, accepted and allowed access to services in a very effective way.” Grandi said he does not believe European government policies are per se racist.

However, he added: Others are not true refugees. it's racist. Full stop.

Grundy did not specify the statements he was referring to.

Refugees from Melitopol, Alena, 34, no surname name given, with her children Miron, 11, and Sabina, 2, wait in queue to receive food at a humanitarian aid distribution point in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Aug. 11, 2022.
Refugee from Melitopol, Alena, 34, no surname, 11 August 2022, at a humanitarian distribution station in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, with her children Miron (11). 12 years old) and Sabina, 2 years old, are in line to pick up food.

Other European politicians have made similar statements, stating that many asylum seekers are seeking a better life than fleeing war. Some argue that they may be ineligible for protection under international law because of

Grundy acknowledged that the issue was complex and that some of those heading to Europe were economic migrants. He stressed the existence of an effective system for evaluating asylum applications.

About half of Ukrainians who have left the country so far have returned, and many more may eventually return, but Grandi said it was the second escape. It is said that some people

Still, with no end in sight to the war, the UN refugee agency said the total number of Ukrainians who had left their homeland at one point in time could exceed eight million by December. Stated. And according to the International Organization for Migration, 6.6 million Ukrainians are currently displaced from their homes in the country.

About two million Ukrainians ended up in Russia, whether they chose to or not. An AP investigation earlier this year found that many were forced there and suffered human rights violations along the way. Grandi acknowledged that his agency's access in Russia is restricted.Of the 1,500 accommodation facilities for Ukrainians in the country, UNHCR teams have only been able to visit nine so far.

While the war in Ukraine has captured the world's attention and thereby garnered support for the displaced, Grundy has told world leaders that his agency is struggling to raise funds. In particular, he begged to be reminded of the 12 other humanitarian crises that are plunging. We focused on the Horn of Africa, which is driving famine.

"The big problem we have now is that people tend to underestimate all the other crises they suffer," Grandi said.