International organisations will take over the provision of financial assistance to refugees in need in Slovakia as of May 1. Vulnerable groups and individuals with special needs should thus gain better and faster access to financial aid, according to the Labour Ministry.
Tens of thousands of refugees have arrived in Slovakia since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Slovak government took measures to open up the national system of assistance to people in material need, providing them with the respective allowance. Now, a group of international organisations will take over for three months.
The groups involved are the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Slovak Red Cross with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). They have signed a memorandum with the Slovak government and will pay the financial support to the refugees.
"I am grateful for this form of cooperation and solidarity that is, obviously, good news also for our state budget," Labour Minister Milan Krajniak said.
The joint support by all the organisations will cover approximately 26,000 households: those who have already applied for financial assistance in Slovakia, plus those who have not yet applied for it. The list of those already receiving material assistance in Slovakia will be provided by the Ministry of Labor directly to UNHCR, the Ukrainian language news website Novyny reported.
Slovak social benefits are paid a few weeks after the end of the month for which the support has been granted. The financial aid from international organisations is expected to be paid out faster, in the same month as the application is submitted, according to Novyny.
The specific amount of financial assistance for one month will be €80 for each adult, €60 for each child aged 3 to 18, and €160 for each child under 3 years. The maximum amount of support per family is limited to €380 per month.
In April 2022, the Labour Ministry paid such allowances to 16,560 recipients from Ukraine, amounting to €2.2 million.
UNICEF and IOM will also support about 500 children with disabilities and about 400 adults with disabilities over the next three months by helping people (usually their relatives) who care for them. The amount of financial assistance provided to each guardian is set at €508 per month.
Registration will be possible in individual organisations and will be coordinated, to avoid duplication.