The Idaho Office for Refugees supports our nation’s effort to welcome Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing war. Click here for resources for displaced Ukrainians and information about how Idahoans can help.
In just one month Russia's invasion has displaced 3.6 million people from Ukraine — the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe this century. The U.S. government on Thursday pledged to welcome up to 100,000 people who have fled Ukraine and to develop programs focused on reuniting Ukrainian refugees with family in the states.
It’s not yet determined how many Ukrainian refugees will come to Idaho or the timeline of their arrival. Our office, which serves as the state coordinator of refugee resettlement in Idaho, will continue to work closely with resettlement agencies in Boise and Twin Falls, their national affiliates, and the U.S. Department of State as the situation progresses. We will also continue to coordinate with local partners and government agencies who provide services to refugees from all over the world once they arrive in Idaho.
“I know Idahoans are eager to help refugees,” said Tara Wolfson, State Refugee Coordinator and Director of the Idaho Office for Refugees. “I received a really touching phone call from an Idaho farmer whose late mother came here from Ukraine decades ago seeking safety and a better life for her and her family. She was able to achieve that, and now her son wants to honor her legacy and pay it forward by helping people who are in a similar circumstance. We’ve seen many other stories like this from across the state.”
Idaho has resettled nearly 200 refugees from Ukraine over the past 20 years, less than 2% of total arrivals.
Sadly, 1 in every 95 persons worldwide has been forcibly displaced from their home due to violence, conflict, persecution, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order, according to the UNHCR.
Our state has played a role in improving peace and stability worldwide by formally welcoming refugees since 1975. Idaho is on track to receive more than 1,200 refugees this year from several countries, including Afghanistan, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Since the invasion of Ukraine, Idahoans have stepped up in big ways to help. Here are some examples in the local news:
Author: Holly Beech
Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Manager