Budget estimates show €500m increase in aid to support Ukrainians

Budget 2024: €2.5bn set aside to support Ukrainians fleeing war, up from €2bn this year, with document warning expenditure could ‘potentially be higher’

Spending on assistance to people fleeing the war in Ukraine is to rise to an estimated €2.5 billion next year, up from about €2 billion this year, according to an expenditure report published alongside the budget. The amount spent in 2022 was €1 billion.

“Cost projections are based on a number of high-level assumptions regarding the number of people requiring support and the unit cost of providing the range of supports,” the report says. However, it does not include any projections as to the number likely to arrive next year.

Since the outbreak of the war approximately 94,000 people have arrived in Ireland from Ukraine under the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive. This equates to 1.6 per cent of Ukrainian refugees in Europe, according to the report.

A risk assessment matrix, published as part of the Budget process, says expenditure on humanitarian aid to those fleeing the war “could potentially be larger”.


Almost two-thirds of expenditure on the Ukrainian crisis relates to provision of accommodation under the remit of the Department of Children, Equality, Integration, Disability and Youth, according to the report.

The second largest category is social protection payments at about 22 per cent. The next highest spending area is in relation to education and is split between the Department of Further and Higher Education and the Department of Education, accounting for just under 8 per cent of all funding expended.

A sum of €180 million is being assigned to the International Accommodation Protection Service to assist with the provision of assistance to people seeking international protection, according to the report. A sum of €34 million is being given to the Department of Justice is to assist with the processing, and processing times of those seeking protection.

The 2024 estimate for the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, to be spent on creating “a fair and efficient support system for international protection seekers”, is €1.92 billion, an 83 per cent increase on the €1.05 billion estimated in 2023.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent