STOCKHOLM: UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has in the past week delivered a shipment of relief items to Latvia and Lithuania in support of the ongoing response to the Ukraine refugee situation in the two countries. As of the start of October, nearly 41,000 refugees from Ukraine were registered for temporary protection in Latvia and around 67,000 in Lithuania.
The relief items consist of foldable field cots, mattresses, duvets and pillows, and the shipments arrived in Lithuania on 6 October and in Latvia on 7 October where they were handed over to authorities for distribution to reception centers.
The delivery of relief items follows consultations on the humanitarian needs with the respective national authorities involved in coordination of the response. The support will help ensure the temporary accommodation of the high number of refugees from Ukraine, who have arrived in the two countries since the beginning of the war, as well as support the countries’ contingency planning for potential further arrivals of refugees.
In line with the situation elsewhere in Europe, the Baltic countries have generously received thousands of Ukrainians fleeing – and the reaction and response across governments, authorities, civil society and the broader populations have been both commendable and heartwarming.
UNHCR appreciates the constructive dialogue with the national authorities and civil society organizations on how best to continue to respond to the needs of the refugees, the majority of whom are women and young children.
With the colder winter months approaching, as well as the continuously unpredictable and volatile situation in Ukraine – which might lead to more people fleeing the country and seeking refuge elsewhere – UNHCR will continue to support the national efforts in all countries to continue their welcoming response and vital protection of refugees.