Which Nordic country has taken in the most Ukrainian refugees?

Over 165,000 displaced persons from Ukraine have been granted temporary protection in the Nordic countries during the last nine months.

Which Nordic country has taken in the most Ukrainian refugees?
The foreign ministers of Ukraine and the Baltic and Nordic countries (minus Denmark) at a press briefing in November 2022. Photo: VALENTYN OGIRENKO / POOL / AFP

A new report from the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR breaks down the number of Ukrainian refugees granted asylum by each of the Nordic countries since their country was invaded by Russia in February.

The report is based on materials including interviews with authorities in each of the countries in the Nordic region.

Sweden is the Nordic country to have taken in the most Ukrainian refugees, with a total of 47,700. Second is Finland with 43,000, followed by Denmark with 34,700.

Norway has granted asylum to 31,000 Ukrainians and 1,700 are in Iceland.

Sweden is also the most populous country in the region with around 10.4 million people as of 2021. Denmark has just under 6 million people, with 5.4 million living in Norway.

The populations of Finland and Iceland are 5.5 million and 370,000 respectively.

The refugees taken in by each of the countries are granted protection under either national laws or the EU’s temporary asylum directive from 2001, which has been used for the first time in response to the war in Ukraine.

READ ALSO: ANALYSIS: Why is Denmark treating Ukrainian refugees differently to those from Syria?

“Even though we want a quick end to the war, we must assume the conflict could be protracted and that many Ukrainians will stay here,” the report’s author, Anna Berlina, said according to Danish news wire Ritzau.

The temporary EU directive, which was activated on March 4th, was recently extended until March 4th 2024. According to the report, the EU is likely to further extend its directive until March 2025.

The directive requires EU member states to comply with a number of minimum criteria relating to access to health services, the labour market and education.

Denmark’s Ukrainian refugees are covered by a special “Ukrainian law” (Ukrainerlov) adopted by parliament in March.

Berlina said a long-term strategy is needed for refugees from Ukraine.

“This shows the necessity for a long-term plan for how we can best help Ukrainian refugees that have come to the Nordics,” she said.

READ ALSO: Denmark could see new influx of Ukrainian refugees 

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Denmark announces seven-billion kroner Ukraine fund

A majority in the Danish parliament has approved a new fund to help Ukraine defend itself against the Russian invasion.

Denmark announces seven-billion kroner Ukraine fund

The fund, which consists of seven billion kroner (€940 million), will be targeted at Danish military, civilian and commercial assistance to Ukraine, according to the Nordic country’s finance ministry.

“Last year, we came together in a historic national compromise on Danish security policies. That was necessary in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen said in a statement.

“With today’s agreement we give some seven million additional kroner to the efforts in Ukraine, and this will happen on a fully economically responsible basis,” he added.

All of parliament’s parties with the exception of the left-wing Red Green Alliance and Alternative parties voted for the fund.

Some 5.4 billion of the total 7 billion kroner will be spent on military assistance to Ukraine, with 1.2 billion kroner on civilian needs and 400 million to support businesses.

Part of the spending is funded by Denmark’s international development budget, while over 5 billion comes from spending an increased portion of the national GDP on the 2023 budget, news wire Ritzau states.

The money is designed to “retain a high level for military support” and “make a genuine difference for the Ukrainians,” acting defence minister Troels Lund Poulsen said.

“Their fight is our fight,” he added.