Total of 48,000 Ukrainians forecast to have arrived in State by end of August

Pressure to continue on meeting war-fleeing refugees’ needs for immediate and longer-term accommodation

Internal Government estimates predict about 48,000 Ukrainians will have arrived into the country by the end of the month.

Official sources said that despite a recent tapering in arrivals and the promise of more accommodation coming onstream later in August, more beds were still needed to meet demand.

While figures have declined a little in recent weeks, official data seen by The Irish Times shows a significantly higher percentage are now seeking accommodation when compared to when the war started.

This suggests pressure will be maintained on the State’s capacity to find immediate beds for Ukrainians seeking shelter, and to identify more sustainable and longer-term accommodation options for them.

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There have now been 45,074 arrivals into the country, the analysis shows, with predictions that another 3,000 will come before the end of August. A recent uptick in arrivals has tapered off somewhat, with the seven-day average of people coming in falling from 147 on July 25th to 101 on Monday.

Officials believe this recent fall in numbers may be down to increased activity through Dublin Airport by holidaymakers, with flights being booked well in advance during the holiday period.

Housing requirements

The analysis suggests that “in terms of forecasts, the recent fall in numbers has meant that we are tracking onto the lower scenario” for arrivals by the end of the month. However, sources cautioned they were wary of these predictions, which failed to foresee a significant increase in the numbers arriving in June and July.

To date, 77 per cent or 34,657 people have indicated they need accommodation when arriving into the country. The internal Government analysis shows the number of people needing accommodation is falling week-on-week in line with gradually reducing recent arrival numbers, from 775 last week to 658 in the last seven days.

However, the proportion of those seeking accommodation is much higher than the all-time figure. The internal data shows that, in the last 14 days, the average is in excess of 90 per cent, with one day last week where all 113 people arriving in required accommodation – a situation replicated on Monday, albeit with a lower figure of 61 concerned.

Two-thirds of arrivals are female and one-third are under 18. Dublin Airport remains by far the most significant channel for arrivals, followed by Rosslare ferryport.

The systems for receiving Ukrainians into the State have been under extreme pressure this summer, most visibly when recent arrivals were forced to sleep on the floor of the old terminal building in Dublin Airport.

More than 4,000 people are to be moved from student accommodation before the middle of September. Officials from the Department of Integration briefed accommodation and local authorities on Tuesday and will brief non-governmental organisations on Wednesday about the logistics of the move, it is understood.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times