Following HSH Prince Albert’s address on TV on Thursday night, in which he offered Monaco’s wholehearted support for Ukrainian refugees, Minister of State Pierre Dartout said that the first 30 refugees have been received and steps are being taken to provide them with shelter.

Pointing out that the tightness of the Monaco housing market presents challenges, he said that the Principality is working in liaison with France to provide accommodation.

He said that financial help will be granted to each family at the rate of approximately 15 euros per day per person so that they can buy food and have some independence.

Spaces will be allocated for refugee children in Monaco schools, and special help will be provided to help the newly-arrived with their language needs. Mr Dartout said the challenges in schooling are more to do with finding places than finance.

“The sovereign has said it, our initiatives are ambitious but they are commensurate with our capacities.”

Asked if there could be tensions between Ukrainian and Russian residents, Mr Dartout said: “We have not been told of any particular tensions between the Ukrainian and Russian populations. Rumours had circulated that there could have been small tensions in the school environment but since then we have heard nothing.”

Turning to employment, the Minister of State added: “Nobody knows how long this conflict will last, but we are still able to make their lives easier and get them a job. It also depends on the training and qualifications these people have. We may be able to make an effort on this, moreover, to ensure that they find employment. This will have to be looked at on a case by case basis.”

Mr Dartout said that he had gained considerable experience in helping displaced people settle during his time as Prefect in the south of France and he is working closely with the Prefect of the neighbouring Alpes-Maritimes.

PHOTO: Minister of State Pierre Dartout Monaco Government Press Service