Refugee Crisis in Europe

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The number of people crossing borders to flee the war in Ukraine has slowed in recent days but it could rise again if the fighting spreads further west. UN refugee agency told that “We have seen a slowdown, a general slowdown,” in the cross-border migration of refugees in recent days. The warmer weather might be a factor, in daily crossings into Poland and Romania, the countries that have received most arrivals, have fallen by around half from a peak of about 100,000 daily. According to UN agencies, overall, 3.27 million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24 and an additional 2 million people have been displaced internally. Many of those have fled besieged cities in the country’s east to the western city of Lviv, which has so far been mostly spared from violence. It is observed that if there is an escalation in Lviv, there is a danger that there will be renewed movements toward the border. However, more of the refugees crossing the Polish border in recent days was showing signs of having suffered trauma than earlier in the crisis. Many of them who fled to neighboring countries don’t have a plan. Those who arrive are not clear where they can go and what can they do now. What happens over the next few months will determine if Europe will face the additional costs of massive resettlement that have the potential to reshape the economic landscape. European economies are still recovering from the pandemic and coping with stubborn supply chain shortages and high inflation. As costly as it will be to provide short-term relief to families temporarily displaced by the war, over the long term the expense of integrating millions of people would be much greater and put immense strain on housing, education and health care systems. While a giant influx of workers, particularly skilled ones, is likely to increase a nation’s output over time, it could intensify competition in the job market as well.

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