France is anticipating the arrival of between 50,000 to 100,000 displaced people from Ukraine in the coming weeks, says the head of the country’s new interministerial crisis unit dedicated to supporting Ukrainians fleeing the conflict.
The prefect and head of the unit, Joseph Zimet, announced the estimation during a press conference today (March 10) and said they were preparing for their arrival.
It follows comments from France’s Prime Minister Jean Castex on Tuesday, who said the number of refugees arriving from Ukraine was “increasing rapidly”.
He said around 5,000 had so far arrived in the country since February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine. Some of them are planning to transit to other countries such as Spain, Portugal and the UK, while many others plan to stay in France.
The government has set up a dedicated web platform (in French) where people can volunteer to host Ukrainian refugees or help in other ways.
You can also read our guide on how to help Ukrainians and Ukraine from France, with all the latest information, including links to sites in English to offer help: How can I help Ukraine from France: Host, donate, support
More than two million people have fled Ukraine in the past two weeks, figures from the UN show.
Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Ukraine’s capital city Kiev, said today that around half the population of the city has fled. Russian troops have amassed around the capital, with experts predicting they will launch a full-scale attack in the coming days.