People in Wales will welcome 1,500 refugees from the Ukraine, the Welsh Government has confirmed. The scheme to help people fleeing the war in the country has seen huge delays.
The Welsh Government tweeted: “Update on Homes for Ukraine. Diolch to you opening your hearts and homes to those fleeing the war in Ukraine, we’re preparing to welcome 1,500 Ukrainian refugees to Wales. More will be arriving via the Homes for Ukraine and super-sponsor route as more visas are processed.”
The UK Government said that 1,600 Ukrainians with visas had arrived in the UK as of Monday including 15,000 under the Family Scheme and around 6,600 via the Homes For Ukraine sponsorship scheme.
The scheme has been criticised for how slowly it has been rolled out with hosts in Wales waiting weeks to be able to welcome family or refugees. Read the criticism of Welsh families here. Households in the UK will be offered a tax-free payment of £350 a month to open their homes to refugees, regardless of how many individuals they are offering to accommodate.
Mark Drakeford, Wales’ First Minister, has been critical of the scheme saying it needed more support. He has said his family hopes to take a refugee into their home.
The Home Office said changes had been made to “streamline the visa system”. A government spokesperson said: “Our Ukraine Schemes have reached a turning point, thanks to the changes we’ve made to the streamline the visa system, including simplifying the forms, and boosting staff.