Ukraine: No more than 46 to 76 percent. Ukrainian refugees will return to the country after the war, estimates the editors of the Kyiv Post portal
From 46 to 76 percent of Ukrainian refugees will return to the country after the war, estimates the editors of the Kyiv Post portal, citing the latest research by the Kyiv Center for Economic Strategy. However, if the refugees do not return, Ukraine will lose from 2.5 to 7.71 percent. GDP per year.
The editors of the English-language Kiev portal publish a portrait of an average Ukrainian refugee. Among adults, the majority (over 42%) are women between 35 and 49 years of age, and there are 1.07 children for each adult. 66 percent of refugees have higher education (the average in Ukraine is 29 percent). Of the refugees who found their way to the European Union, the largest group – over 38 percent – stopped in Poland. Nearly every fifth person residing in Germany, 12 percent. in the Czech Republic, and 5 percent – in Italy. “Human capital is the most powerful weapon in the reconstruction of Ukraine,” the editorial office claims. “The risk that they won’t come back is very real.” “We must work on programs to encourage return,” echoes the head of Ukraine’s national bank.
“In order to attract people back to their homeland, reforms should start now,” says the head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Andriy Pyshny. Both the Bank and the ministries of social policy and economy cooperating with it believe that programs aimed at encouraging refugees to return should become a priority for the government in Kiev.
“Our citizens need to be sure they have somewhere to go back to. They must feel needed in Ukraine. Of course, the process of assimilation in the host countries has been going on for a year. Children learn languages, go to school, meet new friends, said Andriy Pyshny.
The Ministry of Economy of Ukraine believes that as much as 75 percent will return. refugees – as long as they can count on decent living and working conditions.
However, the editorial staff of the portal emphasizes that apart from the population loss related to the departure of refugees, Ukraine is also suffering from a birth crisis. The birth rate, believes Ella Libanowa, head of the Institute of Demography and Social Research of the National Academy of Sciences, will probably amount to 0.8 per woman (normal generational replacement requires the rate to fluctuate around 2.1). “I think we can start preparing for the worst-case scenario,” says Libanova.
Maryna Twerdostup, an economist at The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, believes that refugees will stay on the European labor market for more than 2-3 years. “Europe does not necessarily want Ukrainians, especially young and skilled, to return home,” he says. It evokes the experiences of the war in the former Yugoslavia. Those who did not have a good job returned home when their temporary protection ran out. “But those who managed to pursue a satisfying career also came back – only it lasted ten years. It is a slow process, it depends on many factors, such as the rapid reconstruction of Ukraine and the conditions of stay abroad,” he says.
According to the Center for Economic Strategy, it is crucial to create conditions allowing refugees to return. But, Libanova warns, the worst that can happen is when EU countries try to keep migrants and Ukraine tries to get them to return. (PAP)