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Italy, other EU states exclude non-Ukrainian refugees from temporary protection

Max Civili
Press TV, Rome

As the conflict in Ukraine grinds on, almost 7 million people have been displaced inside the country and about 4 million have fled abroad. These numbers are increasing on a daily basis.

So far, almost 80,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Italy, the majority of whom are women and children, with the most popular destinations being big cities like Milan, Rome, and Naples.

At the beginning of the war, about 3,000 people were arriving in Italy from Ukraine every day, but now the numbers seem to have slowed.

On Thursday, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi praised the UN for its contribution to the handling of the refugee crisis.

Amid the wave of support provided to Ukrainian refugees, aid groups operating in conflict-stricken areas have warned that non-Ukrainians trying to flee from Ukraine are facing a myriad of challenges, including legal exclusion from certain forms of help and racial discrimination.

Over 2 million refugees, more than half of the 4 million who have fled the conflict so far, have crossed into Poland.

According to figures from the Polish border guards, around 6% include significant numbers of African and Asian students.

Reports have emerged that many non-Ukrainians have been subjected to racist and unfair treatment at the border with Poland.

Members of the Bloc, including Italy, have ratified a 2001 EU directive that grants temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons. However non-Ukrainians have been excluded from the temporary protection scheme.

So far, 17 billion euros have been allocated from the EU for Ukrainian refugee reception, however, uncertainty remains around quotas and relocations.

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