Unprecedented solidarity

By Audrey SomnardGilles Kayser Switch to French for original article

The wave of solidarity towards the Ukrainians is unprecedented in Luxembourg. Municipalities are mobilizing to respond to requests from their constituents to provide shelter for refugees arriving in the country.

"I've never seen anything like this", says a stunned Emile Eicher, president of Syvicol. The union of municipalities sent out a press release in early March calling on the municipalities to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people and to organize themselves to house the refugees coming to the country. "We are very satisfied with the responses we have received since the beginning of our appeal, but it must be organized", explains the president. Only a few hours later an email and a hotline were set up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to gather requests and other questions from families, municipalities and refugees themselves. For Émile Eicher, the solidarity movement is unprecedented in Luxembourg for an event of international importance: "They are a European people, not very far from Luxembourg, we feel close to them and this creates a solidarity between Europeans".

In the first hours following the call of Syvicol, the first municipalities were getting ready. In a country plagued by an acute housing crisis, space had to be found, and quickly, until the first refugees arrived in the country. "The flow of refugees from Ukraine continues to be very substantial", said Jean Asselborn (LSAP), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Immigration and Asylum, last Wednesday. For the moment, "we have 803 beds in seven structures at our disposal", he said at a press conference.

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