As of the end of March, 79,047 refugees fleeing Ukraine arrived in Italy mainly via the northern borders with Austria and Slovenia. UNHCR staff in northern Italy provide information and assistance to new arrivals, advocating for prompt identification and referrals of vulnerable individuals, including unaccompanied children. UNHCR staff also support the Italian Civil Protection in coordinating the response to the emergency.
In March, 1,358 refugees and migrants arrived in Italy by sea, most commonly in Lampedusa. UNHCR launched initiatives to promote refugee participation and to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.
■ Ukraine emergency.1 Since the start of the emergency at the end of February 2022, 79,047 arrivals from Ukraine were registered in Italy as of the end of March. Almost 77,000 of them arrived in the month of March. Most persons fleeing Ukraine arrive via Slovenia and Austria through border crossing points in Fernetti, near Trieste, and Tarvisio, respectively. Many travel onward to reach relatives or members of the Ukrainian diaspora in Italy, most commonly heading to large cities, such as Rome,
Milan, Bologna and Naples. Click here for a short video recounting the experience of women and children arriving at the Italy-Slovenia border after fleeing Ukraine.
■ Approximately 90% of persons fleeing Ukraine are women and children, and this is reflected in the gender and age breakdown of arrivals in Italy also. While the risks of gender-based violence, trafficking, abuse, psychological trauma and family separation increase in times of conflict and displacement, the gender profile of this refugee outflow and the fact that many children have fled alone means that such risks are multiplied in the circumstances. Many persons with disabilities have also left Ukraine in the first weeks after the outbreak of the conflict at the end of February, also reaching Italy. UNHCR staff have been deployed to the Fernetti and Tarvisio crossing points in the northern Friuli Venezia-Giulia region throughout March, supporting the authorities in coordinating the response to refugee arrivals, providing newcomers with information on relevant procedures, identifying unaccompanied children and other vulnerable individuals and distributing assistance items donated by private companies. Click here to watch a short video on UNHCR staff assisting arrivals from Ukraine at the Italy's north-eastern border with Slovenia.
■ By the end of March, UNHCR staff in Fernetti and Tarvisio border crossing points provided information about services and registration procedures to 15,961 persons fleeing Ukraine. Through its front desk in Rome and through the toll-free helpline managed by partner ARCI, UNHCR also provided counselling on asylum and access to services to 603 persons in March.
■ UNHCR containers were installed at both Fernetti and Tarvisio border crossing points to welcome new arrivals and provide a more adequate setting to talk to persons and identify their needs. In collaboration with UNICEF and other partners, UNHCR has also set up information and assistance points, offering child-friendly information materials and referrals to available services. These information and assistance points can also help identifying persons with