Refugees from Ukraine in Belarus: Needs, Intentions, and Integration Challenges

International Organisation for Migration has recently released a Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report shedding the light on the situation of Ukrainian refugees currently residing in Belarus. The report provides crucial insights into the demographics, employment status, financial situation, needs of the refugees and other matters. With 917 Ukrainians interviewed, the report highlights the challenges faced by the refugees and the support they have received.

What is the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM)? The DTM is the IOM’s tool that gathers and analyzes data to disseminate critical multi layered information on the mobility, vulnerabilities, and needs of displaced and mobile populations that enables decision makers and responders to provide these populations with better context specific assistance. The DTM is used by humanitarian organizations to track and monitor the displacement of people due to conflicts, natural disasters, or other crises. This information helps aid organizations to plan and provide assistance to those in need. The DTM also helps governments and other stakeholders to understand the scale and impact of displacement and develop policies to address the issue. You can find more information about the DTM via this link

All of respondents were asked whether they planned to return to Ukraine when it is safe to do so. A quarter of them replied that they planned to return once the conditions allow, 2 per cent would return in any case. 19 per cent said they did not plan to return to Ukraine and 4 per cent replied they could not return. However, the vast majority (43%) hadn’t made up their mind about the question. 

At the time of the interview 62 per cent of respondents were not planning to move from Belarus. 16 per cent aimed to move to another country, mainly to the Russian Federation, Poland, and Germany. 2.4 per cent intended to move back to Ukraine.

Among those currently employed in Belarus, 17 per cent were employed in wholesale and retail at the time of interview. This was followed by manufacturing (16%), other services such as sewing, cleaning, maintenance works (13%), agriculture (8%), and education (7%). 7 per cent were also employed in construction sector in Belarus. Others were employed in other areas such  as  human health and social work, accommodation and food services, transportation, administrative support, among  other  areas  of employment.

When answering the question on whether respondents had funds to cover their living expenses, 49 per cent said they did not, 39 per cent said they had funds and 12 per cent preferred not to answer. The report also found that the majority of Ukrainians were not able to withdraw money using foreign credit/debit card. Therefore, assistance to refugees is still in great demand.

The most immediate needs at the moment of the interview were general information (74%), financial support (61%), personal hygiene items (33%), and food (27%). This was followed by the need in communication with others in Ukraine or elsewhere (14%), legal assistance (8%), support with clothes and shoes (3%), health services (3%) and documentation (3%). 

Speaking about discrimination, 95 per cent of respondents indicated that they hadn’t experience it, however, 2 per cent faced with it in Belarus.

Read the full report here.

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities