267% rise in people helped by irish refugee council
The Irish Refugee Council helped 267% more people in 2022, compared to the year before. The organisation described last year as nothing less than an exceptional one with the arrival of 70,165 Ukrainians escaping the year-long ‘special military operation’ alongside a whopping 13,649 international protection applicants seeking refuge in the country.
Compared to 3,000 people in 2021, the Irish Refugee Council provided “direct and substantial support” to over 11,000 people last year, an increase of 267%, according to its 2022 Impact Report. Compared to 15,000 in 2021, the organisation’s helplines received beyond 24,000 calls last year, a 60% increase.
While 21,873 calls were received via its regular helpline number, more than 2,600 were made to its Ukrainian language information helpline. The organisation also received 5,000 email queries, an increase of 733% on 2021 when it received 600.
According to Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, the current year is also shaping up to be another challenging period. He highlighted a number of factors, including homelessness and the continuous deterioration of standards in reception centres, presenting a darker reality for people seeking protection.
As of Thursday evening, a shocking number of 371 recently arrived applicants seeking international protection were without State provided accommodation, the latest figures from the Department of Children, Equality, Integration, Disability and Youth said.
The High Court is due to hear a couple of test cases on Wednesday, brought by two adult Afghan asylum seekers who were homeless between February 8 and March 3. The applicants are pursuing court declarations that their rights were breached and that the failure to offer them accommodation was unlawful. They are being represented by the Irish Refugee Council Independent Law Centre.