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Supporting Ukraine refugees when it mattered most

Deloitte’s response to the arrival of Ukraine refugees in Ireland

On 24th February 2022 the Russian Government launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, marking a steep escalation of the war in Ukraine. The invasion has caused Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II, with more than 5.2 million refugees from Ukraine recorded across Europe, while seven million people are still thought to be displaced inside Ukraine.

 Deloitte provided support to the Department of Social Protection at Dublin Airport. This was to aid DSP with the unprecedented numbers of Ukraine refugees arriving in the country.  Deloitte had 25 staff members at Dublin Airport, provided 1,300 work hours and impacted over 20,000 lives.  

To aid the transfer of refugees into the country, a welcome facility was placed at Dublin Airport which housed the necessary services refugees would require on arrival. This comprised of a variation of government authorities including: 

  • Department of Social Protection - to provide them with the guidance and forms to obtain their Personal Public Services (PPS) Number, to access social services in Ireland
  • Department of Justice - to provide them with documents that would enable them to stay in the country
  • Health Service Executive - to provide any medical assistance if required
  • Department of Agriculture - to assess their pets on arrival
  • Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth - to provide temporary accommodation

The main task for the Deloitte team was assisting Ukraine refugees access services to obtain PPS Numbers; unique reference numbers which helps an individual access social welfare benefits, public services, and information in Ireland.

In collaboration with the Department staff on the ground the Deloitte team supported the Ukraine refugees on arrival into the facility, providing them with the relevant documentation and guidance throughout the process. The resources for this task included a large team, diverse in both skillset and seniority. Skillsets included volunteer experience, fluency in Ukraine/ Russian and a proven ability to work in a pressured environment. This support was on a volunteer basis which equated to over 1,300 manpower hours over an 8-week period based in Dublin Airport.

The number of Ukraine refugees arriving at the building ranged from up to 500 to 900 people per day. With these extensive numbers, the Deloitte team also worked alongside other government authorities to support the day-to-day logistics in this environment, ranging from stocking fridges, toiletries, clothing and organising donations.

The Ukrainian refugees arriving all had individual stories and individual traumas. Deloitte provided much needed kindness, empathy, knowledge, and guidance. This was a powerful and impactful piece of work to be involved in, which truly made an impact that mattered and one the team and firm is proud of.

Day-to-day, the DSP caters to a range of people with varying needs, challenges and abilities, often in vulnerable contexts.  Their work became even more pronounced and essential first during COVID-19 and again as the DSP supported individuals arriving in Ireland from Ukraine under the EU Temporary Protection Directive.

While we cannot necessarily control crises we face together with our clients, as can be seen through our work with the DSP, we can help support and prepare clients to respond efficiently and effectively to any problem that arises, ensuring they continue their mission to meet the needs of citizens.

Key contacts

Ita Langton

Partner, Consulting