13 Apr 2023 16:20

Romania to restrict payment of subsidies to Ukrainian refugees starting May

MOSCOW. April 13 (Interfax) - The Romanian government is introducing new rules for paying subsidies for housing and food to Ukrainian refugees starting May, under which only those who have found a job or whose children go to school in Romania will be entitled to them, Ukrainian media reported citing the EFE news agency.

Under the new rules, the state will stop paying housing costs to property owners providing housing to refugees but will transfer subsidies directly to tenants. As before, refugee camps will continue to receive subsidies from the state.

Details of these rules will be made public later.

Bucharest is taking said measures amid a significant shortage in workforce in Romania. While more than 3.8 million Ukrainians have arrived in the country since February 2022, an overwhelming majority of them have left for other European countries from there. According to the Romanian authorities, about 110,000 Ukrainian refugees are currently staying in the country, but less than 10% of them have employment contracts.

Ukrainian media have also cited a statement by Romanian government spokesperson Dan Carbunaru, as reported by Digi24.

According to Carbunaru, the Romanian government decree stipulates that, starting May 1, 2023, a monthly allowance would be provided for a maximum of four months in a row to families and single persons eligible for it in line with a relevant EU decision to cover their food and accommodation costs in Romania.

If such accommodation is provided by local councils, fixed amounts for meals and accommodation will be determined by agencies providing such accommodation depending on the number of days.

"The one-off payment will be provided only if the beneficiary provides evidence of their employment or enrollment of their underage children in educational institutions," Carbunaru added.

By taking these measures, the government is seeking to stimulate the integration of refugees, as only about 5,000 of the 110,000 Ukrainian citizens currently staying in Romania are employed, Carbunaru said.