Following a televised address last Thursday evening, when Prince Albert II announced his “full solidarity with the Ukrainian population,” the first 30 refugees were welcomed into Monaco. In a recent press interview, Minister of State Pierre Dartout outlined what kind of support Ukrainian refugees can expect during their transition into Monaco. 150,000 euros in emergency financial aid was recently released by the government to help accommodate the new refugees.
Housing, jobs and education
“We will participate in this momentum, to our extent and with the means that are ours,” said Prince Albert II in his televised address. According to the Minister of State, this refers to the limited amount of available housing in the Principality. Although the tightness of Monaco’s housing market presents challenges, the Principality is working in liaison with France to provide accommodation. Financial aid will be granted to each family at the rate of approximately 15 euros per person per day, plus special tickets to purchase food and have some independence.
Education will be available for refugee children in Monaco’s schools and special help will be provided to support any language needs. Children can also register at the Prince Albert II Leisure Centre for sports and cultural activities. Ukrainian refugees can sign up for Monegasque Social Security for any care they may need. Help will be provided to find jobs and to facilitate obtaining work permits in the Principality.
Bringing Monegasques back from Ukraine?
There are no Monegasques currently in the Ukraine, to the government’s knowledge. But the Minister of State has had contact with Monegasque nationals with spouses in the Ukraine when the war first broke out.
About 170 Ukrainians are current residents of Monaco. The thirty Ukrainian refugees welcomed into Monaco, most of which were women, children and friends or family of current residents, had to report to the Department of Public Security upon arrival into Monaco. This reception point is a one-stop shop which registers and reports any refugee to the State Administration. According to the Minister of State, psychologists will be also be made available for refugees to help with any distress caused by recent trauma.
Prince Albert II announces ‘Coordination Unit’
Monaco’s new Coordination Unit will bring together the Departments of the Interior, Health and Social Affairs, External Relations and Cooperation and the Monegasque Red Cross to facilitate housing, social services and education.
When asked if the government fears any tensions between Ukrainian refugees and Russian residents, the Minister of State responded by saying that, thus far, there are no particular tensions between the Ukrainian and Russian populations. Rumours had circulated that there may be small tensions in the school environment, but none have been reported.
Since nobody knows how long the conflict in the Ukraine will last, the government cannot project whether the Ukrainian refugees will be permanently integrated into the Monegasque community, or whether they will wish to return home sometime in the unforeseeable future.