The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has assured parents, guardians and relatives of Ghanaian Nationals in Ukraine of Government’s commitment to ensuring the security and safe evacuation of all willing Ghanaians, making Ghana the first African country to evacuate its nationals from Ukraine.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey made this known when she met with parents, guardians and relatives of Ghanaians living in Ukraine at the Accra International Conference on Tuesday 1st March 2022, to apprise them of the situation in Ukraine, on what is being done for our compatriots as well as hear their concerns and ideas.
The Minister informed participants that based on the Ministry’s monitoring and continuous assessment of the situation in Ukraine, she had instructed 5 of Ghana’s relevant Diplomatic Missions in Europe as well as its Honorary Consulate in Ukraine to immediately commence steps to evacuate our willing compatriots. She further added that Ghana’s Diplomatic Missions in Berlin and Vienna sent officers to other border towns of Ukraine to augment the staff strength in the evacuation exercise.
She explained that due to the closure of Ukraine’s airspace the only viable option for evacuation was by land to neighbouring countries such as Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The Ministry therefore collaborated with the Ghana Diplomatic Missions in Bern in Switzerland, Prague in the Czech Republic, Ankara, Turkey, and the Vatican, Holy See, Ghana’s Honorary Consuls in Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Ghanaian communities and students’ unions in Poland, Hungary and Romania as well as religious groups to facilitate the evacuation of our nationals after being conveyed from Ukraine by road to the closest borders of the European Countries mentioned earlier.
Hon. Botchwey also informed that the multi stakeholder approach involved discussions with officials of the International Organization for Migration (IMO), to elicit support for the evacuation exercise. This anticipated assistance would enhance Ghana’s evacuation exercise.
She indicated that as of 28th February, 2022, 527 Ghanaians including the 17 who arrived today, had safely made it into various European countries and will soon be evacuated to Ghana at no cost to them. Adding that Government has put in place the necessary package to facilitate the transportation, accommodation, feeding, medical support, etc. to ease any burden on them.
The breakdown is as follows:
- Prague – 49 Ghanaians, including one child were received by the Diplomatic mission and are awaiting to be processed for departure to Ghana.
- Slovakia – 25 Ghanaians arrived and are on their way to Prague to be received by our Diplomatic mission.
III. Romania – 134 Ghanaians were received by an official of the Prague Diplomatic Mission and are awaiting relevant processes for departure to Ghana.
- Poland – 81 Ghanaians have arrived in that country
- Hungary – 221 Ghanaians arrived at the border and are on their way to the city of Budapest.
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey stated that two batches of Ghanaians from Romania in groups of 70 and 64 are expected to arrive in the country later this week. In addition, 16 Ghanaians will also arrive from Poland.
It is estimated that our compatriots in Ukraine totaled about one thousand two hundred (1200) with nine hundred and Forty-five (945) of them being students registered with the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Ukraine, with 29 of them being on Government scholarships.
The Minister expressed gratitude to all stakeholders working with the Ministry to ensure the successful evacuation of Ghanaian nationals, particularly NUGS Ukraine, the relevant Ghana Missions, Honorary Consuls and religious bodies.