How Austria Is Supporting Ukrainian Refugees: Right of Residence and Relief Supplies

Diplomacy ♦ Published: March 16, 2022; 20:46 ♦ (Vindobona)

In Europe, an ever-increasing migration movement from Ukraine is becoming noticeable. The government of Austria decided to take several measures to help the fleeing people of Ukraine. Learn more about Austria's assistance.

Ukrainian children fleeing from war. / Picture: © Mirek Pruchnicki from Przemyśl, Sanok, Polska, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Government of the Republic of Austria emphasized that they will provide help for refugees from Ukraine, who are trying to flee from the war due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In Europe, an ever-increasing migration movement from Ukraine is becoming noticeable. The government of Austria decided to take several measures to help the fleeing people.

With the temporary protection decree, refugees from Ukraine will be helped quickly and without bureaucracy.

On March 4, 2022, the EU decided to apply the provisions standardized in EU Directive 2001/55/EC to refugees from Ukraine. In concrete terms, this means for Austria: according to a decree of the Federal Government in agreement with the Main Committee of the National Council, all Ukrainians who have fled will receive temporary protection. This ensures that all those who have to flee from the war in Ukraine will be helped. This concerns displaced Ukrainian nationals, Ukrainian nationals who were already residing in Austria before February 14, 2022, third-country nationals with international protection in Ukraine, and family members (spouses, minor children, close relatives in the same household).

Temporary protection, ensures access to the labor market, education, and medical care. Third-country nationals from Ukraine who are able safely return to their home country are granted entry to Austria on humanitarian grounds. Those who cannot return home safely have the right to apply for international protection in Austria through an asylum procedure. In addition, persons in immediate need of assistance can avail themselves of the basic care provided by the federal government and the provinces. Currently, over 600 displaced persons from Ukraine are already being cared for in the federal care facilities alone.

Education and labor market

As in the past, Austria provides assistance on the ground and in its own country within the framework of neighborhood assistance. Mobile service points, which are being implemented in all federal provinces, provide a central point of contact. The initial counseling service bundles all relevant information and counseling services for Ukrainian displaced persons (labor market, education, residence) and serves as an active support measure in the area of integration. The Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Integration, and the Ministry of Education are all jointly involved to tackle this crisis. In addition, the Federal Government of Austria decided to help the people in need and refugees on the ground with aid shipments to Ukraine itself and its immediate neighbors

Interior Minister Gerhard Karner thanks his staff as well as provinces, municipalities, and aid organizations for support and implementation of aid deliveries to Ukraine and neighboring states: 170 tons in the past two weeks.

"The employees in the Ministry of Interior are working around the clock to quickly and efficiently handle the necessary processes related to the aid shipments," says Interior Minister Gerhard Karner on March 15, 2022. Karner, who as Minister of Interior is responsible for governmental and international disaster relief, emphasizes: "But I also thank the provinces, the municipalities and, above all, the aid and volunteer organizations for their support in organizing and implementing the shipments." Minister of Justice Alma Zadic adds that given the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Ukraine, any help that can be given counts.

10,300 helmets, 550 protective vests, 200,000 liters of diesel fuel.

The interior minister says: "In the past two calendar weeks, 170 tons of aid have been loaded and transported - the total volume for these two weeks has amounted to about 660 m³."Over the weekend, more than 10,300 helmets and about 550 ballistic vests were delivered from the stocks of the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Defense for the protection of civilian aid organizations in Ukraine, Karner adds. "In addition, the transport of 200,000 liters of diesel fuel to Ukraine began over the weekend. The first three tank trucks have already left Austria for the Ukrainian border."

600 medical devices, 40,000 boxes of medicines

The transports with relief supplies provided by the provinces of Lower Austria, Styria, and Tyrol are being prepared, the interior minister says. "More than 600 medical devices and about 40,000 boxes of medicines will be sent to Ukraine promptly."

Medical goods to Ukraine, Slovakia, and Moldova

Karner highlights, "In the past two calendar weeks, 50,000 liters of hand disinfectant have been transported to Ukraine, as well as 9,000 liters of surface disinfectant, 50,000 pieces of protective goggles for operations, 50,000 pieces of MNS masks, 20,000 pairs of gloves (non-sterile), 7,000 pieces of dressing material, 50,000 pieces of wound dressings and 1,500 hygiene packages." The Interior Minister added: "To Slovakia, 50,000 liters of hand disinfectant, 45,000 pieces of FFP 2 masks and 90,000 MNS masks have been delivered, and to Moldova, 20 pieces of tents, 500 pieces of couch mats, 500 pieces of covers for couch mats, 500 pieces of pads including covers, 500 pieces of hygiene packages and 500 pieces of cots."

Austrian Federal Ministry of Interior