Migrants and refugees in Belarus: profiles, displacement patterns, needs and intentions

International organization for Migration (IOM) in Belarus continued its work on the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) - a tool to gather and analyze data on the mobility, vulnerabilities, and needs of displaced and mobile populations. 

The DTM allows to estimate the number of migrants in the country and identify their needs and intentions, which should be taken into account when providing assistance. The previous DTM report was published in September, and in September - November 805 more interviews with migrants and refugees were conducted by IOM in coordination with the Ministry of Interior and the Belarusian Red Cross. The data is analyzed and summarized in the new DTM report.

It is estimated that there are over 9,000 Ukrainian nationals in Belarus.

Most of the respondents are women (66%). They came to Belarus from Donetska (28%), Kharkivska (17%), Luhanska (14%), Khersonska regions (7%) and Kyiv city and Kyivska region (6%) mainly through the Russian Federation, Poland or directly from Ukraine. Compared to the previous report, a shift is seen in the increased number of entries from Russia. 

In Belarus, the majority of Ukrainians who had to flee the country are staying with their relatives, nevertheless, their share is less than indicated in the September report. At the same time, more people are now renting their accommodation. This is connected with the fact that the majority of Ukrainians are viewing Belarus as a long-term destination – 68% declared the intention to remain in Belarus. Among them 38% plan to stay here for more than a year.

40% of the interviewed Ukrainians have already applied for additional protection, while 27% are considering to do so.  

This survey also established the presence of an estimated number of 1,350 other vulnerable migrants in Belarus. These are foreigners who fled from Ukraine or those present in Belarus before 24 February 2022, mainly from Guinea, Egypt, Afghanistan and Cuba. 59% of them entered through the Russian Federation. 

Most of these migrants are men between 19 and 39 years old. They mainly traveled as a group, very often with someone having a serious health condition or a chronic disease. 27% of the respondents travelled with children. 

Over half of the migrants are planning to stay in Belarus. Among those intending to move onwards, 45% indicated Germany as their desirable destination country.

These migrants report the following needs: personal hygiene and sanitary supplies (89%), financial support (70%), food products (70%), clothes and shoes (63%), employment (56%) and medicines (44%). 

IOM provides various types of assistance to migrants and refugees, including food, hygiene items, clothes, shoes, medical assistance, psychosocial and psychological support, and others. 

Read the full report here.

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