O’Gorman to seek supplementary budget of €850m to house Ukrainian refugees

More than 50,000 Ukrainians have so far been supported with accommodation, education and social protection supports

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman has said his department will need a supplementary budget of more than €850 million to pay for the rising cost of housing Ukrainian refugees.

Mr O’Gorman said his department would need substantial extra funding beyond that which was set out for 2022 because of the challenges in housing those fleeing the war in Ukraine but also other pressures on the international protection system.

Speaking at a post-budget press conference, Mr O’Gorman said he would be seeking the supplementary budget in the coming weeks.

“In terms of the allocation, we will be going for a supplementary estimate for 2022 in the near future that would be primarily to address the very significant costs of accommodation for Ukrainians but will also involve the additional costs of extra people who sought international protection here in Ireland since the start of the year. I think the number is around €850 million. We are looking at that figure for 2022 and Minister McGrath also set aside a Ukraine fund for 2023 and my department no doubt will be drawing from that in the course of next year.”


The Government is setting aside €2 billion for 2023 for the costs related to Ireland’s response to the war in Ukraine. Some of this funding will be held in reserve and given to departments where needed. More than 50,000 Ukrainian people have so far been supported with accommodation, education and social protection supports.

In Budget 2023 documentation, the Government said that while uncertainty still remained in relation to managing the cost of supports, there was now significantly more data available on the number and flow of arrivals. The Government has said there has been a downward trend in arrivals in recent months, with the seven-day average in the range of 100-120 over the past month.

There is also recent data available from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) which shows the activity rates of PPS numbers allocated to Ukrainians over the same time. The data shows there are a number of people leaving the State either to return home or go elsewhere in the months following arrival.

The Department of Children has modelled three scenarios in relation to the potential costs in 2023. Under the first scenario, a lower number of refugees would need support, in the region of 55,000, by the end of 2023. This would cost €1 billion-€1.6 billion. Under the second scenario, a medium number of 65,000 refugees would be in need of such support by the end of 2023. This would cost €1 billion-€1.8 billion. Under the final, higher case scenario, 75,000 refugees could need support which would cost €1 billion-€2.2 billion.

The department has also said it planned to put a “focus on commissioning NGOs and not for profit organisations to provide services and supports particularly to vulnerable applicants”.

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times