Don't starve the Ukrainians in Sweden!

English translation by Google translate.

In Ukrainian >>

In Swedish >>


In her annual summary on social media, Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard does not mention the situation we have with approximately 40,000 Ukrainian refugees in the country.


This constant silence about the situation of the Ukrainians here in Sweden from our Minister of Migration is perhaps one of the reasons why about 1/3 of those who have sought protection in Sweden have left our country.



Sweden is among the most difficult countries in Europe to be in for Ukrainian refugees. We have already far exceeded the adaptation of the asylum regulations to the minimum level of EU law, which the government is striving for regarding asylum seekers, in terms of being the worst at supporting Ukrainian war refugees.


In the post, it is highlighted that we are already seeing the effect of the new policy and that last year Sweden received 26% fewer asylum applications than the previous period, while applications in total in the EU have increased by 25%.


The Ukrainians in Sweden are doubly unlucky now. Their country is being invaded and they have come to Sweden in the middle of a major change in migration policy. This seems to create a paralysis of action in the government and many misconceptions in society. The Ukrainians are not asylum seekers and should not be treated as such when it comes to financial aid.


We must manage to keep migration policy and temporary protection for refugees from Ukraine in accordance with the temporary protection directive separate!


Both in terms of numbers and relative to our population, Sweden has few Ukrainian refugees in comparison. About 40,000 of the 60,000 who sought protection here remain. About 57,000 live in Norway and about 61,000 in Finland.


Already in 2022, the low financial support for Ukrainian refugees was raised as a problem in many debate articles. 


Now we see the effect of this. Many live in extreme poverty. Charitable organizations have had to take great responsibility for helping refugees with the most basic things such as food, clothes, nappies, hygiene items and more. Several of the large organizations have sounded the alarm about this.


Through my work as a volunteer, I know that they want to work and be able to earn a living. We are in the second winter and many people cannot even afford food and clothing, but are dependent on donations from organizations, companies, or private individuals, who stand up when the government fails. Many new local initiatives have been started to help. Civil society stands up and saves the refugees from a total disaster.

A mother today receives SEK 71 for herself and between SEK 37 and 50 per child. This amount must be enough for everything, except rent, which you get paid if you live in a designated residence/location. If you have your own money, this must be used up first. Pensioners receive lower compensation.


The grant is the same in kroner as asylum seekers receive. It is a grant that is not intended for people to live on for a long time, but while their case is being investigated. Now almost two years have passed. The amount in kroner has not been increased since 1994 and many different political parties have ruled since then.


It is impossible for a woman with a small child and a teenager to live on SEK 150 a day!


On average, more refugees with higher education came to Sweden than to many other countries. Unfortunately, it has been shown that they have a tougher time entering the labour market. It is simply easier to get jobs, which require fewer academic skills.


Can't they then take any job? Yes, there are many willing to do it, but jobs must also be offered. An employer matches the right skills to the right job and is not always inclined to hire overqualified people.


Those who have found work are better off financially, but they too suffer from the current regulations. 


When they find work, the support for the rent and daily allowance ceases. If their children or themselves become ill, they do not receive VAB (compensation if your child is sick and you stay at home) or sickness benefit. This even though they pay taxes like the rest of us. This can mean that a mother can go backwards in case of illness. She may end up in a desperate situation. In many ways it becomes a catch 22 situation and a new form of trap for women.

(Correction off error above; If you are employed, you have the right to some sickness benefits, but no pay if your child is sick. You must register with Försäkringskassan and give them a copy of your employee contract - read more here Link >>)

There are several other things that need to be changed, so that the refugees can have a tolerable existence in Sweden. Today, they live both in social, economic, and digital exclusion. Try to live a few days without using your social security number and digital ID! They do not have access to this with all the problems it entails.


Poverty and exclusion lead to social problems and there is a risk that desperate people are exploited and drawn into crime. Then the low financial support we give them today turns into a costly social problem. We already see it happening and the police are warning about it!


Sweden's poor handling of the situation arouses despair among the Ukrainians in battle, whose relatives are here. They fight for our freedom, but Sweden can't even give their children enough food. It is not good for their morale and will to fight. Their wives here are slowly breaking down. It's not something that starts now, it's already happening!


We must support both in Ukraine and here!

Russian success and the taking of larger areas of land could lead to a wave of refugees, making the current situation pale. It would have major consequences for all EU countries.


Sweden will have a collective bad conscience for the way the refugees are handled. Other countries must wonder since many people move to them. Others return to Ukraine out of sheer desperation.


That Sweden talks widely about its great support for Ukraine is good, to inspire other countries. 


However, it can appear as hypocrisy if we are not at the same time able to support those who have sought protection in our country in a good way.


Regardless of our view on the immigration issue, we must make a distinction.


Can the government manage to separate the migration policy of immigration and the need to protect the Ukrainian war refugees? 

Is it perhaps the case that they would prefer that they leave our country now to show better figures in the statistics of foreigners in our country?


If not, raise the daily allowance now! 


Simplify the regulations! Show that we genuinely support all of Ukraine! Now!



Sven Bergland

Volunteer for Ukrainian refugees in Sweden