Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee said at least 2,500 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Ireland so far, with more due to arrive later Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters at Dublin Airport on Wednesday, McEntee said the Irish government was trying to process arrivals “as quickly as possible” and “provide what they need”.
Ireland has chosen to join the European Union’s initiative to offer temporary protection to refugees, moving away from visa requirements for up to three years.
Ukraine’s justice minister said at least two-thirds of arrivals are female, adding that a third of arrivals have sought temporary housing.
“There’s a lot of kids coming in, so we have rooms, with toys with cribs on them with cartoons on them. You know, people have traveled for days, they’ve been through a very traumatic experience,” McEntee told Irish Radio. Newstalk in an interview Wednesday.
Irish Department of Justice officials are at the airport to greet refugees and work with them to secure national identification numbers and residency, according to Roderic O’Gorman, Ireland’s equality minister.
O’Gorman told Irish radio station RTÉ Radio 1 on Tuesday that the Irish government is setting up a dedicated unit under his administration to deal with Ukrainian refugees.
O’Gorman said Ireland has “significantly expanded” its short-term hotel capacity, stressing that hotel accommodation remains a “short-term response” to the issue.
The Irish government recognizes the need for a “long-term response as well”, adding that there is more work to be done before proposals are submitted to the government.