SPAIN is set to welcome more than 6,000 refugees who have fled Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion.
Authorities said they were setting up three large processing centres to speed up the intake of Ukrainian refugees when they arrive this week.
The Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, Jose Luis Escriva, said the government is planning for the arrival of a ‘significant volume of refugees’ who will go through centres in Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante.
“Ukrainians have a protection framework throughout Europe and Spain that simplifies all paperwork, gives immediate access to work and all international protection aid from the moment they arrive,” he said.
He also insisted that Spanish authorities were working to provide transport ‘for all those who want to come’ in collaboration with the consular services of Romania, Poland, Hungary and Moldova.
Spain is also talking with the Ukrainian authorities to organise transport for children, some of whom are unaccompanied.
He said that the refugees may be put up in hotels for the first couple of days after their arrival, adding: “The central government is working with regional authorities to maximise resources,” Escriva said.
“We aim to make more than 6,000 places available initially but this will be flexible.”
Over 1.7 million refugees are estimated to have fled the Ukraine so far, according to the UN.
The bulk of these have crossed into neighbouring countries with around a million already arriving into Poland.
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