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A British millionaire will foot the bill for 1,000 Ukrainian refugees to enter the UK after being 'moved to tears' over the humanitarian crisis triggered by the Russian invasion.
Founder of housebuilder Redrow, Steve Morgan, called on the government to stop the delays on emergency visas for those fleeing from Ukraine.
“I felt so helpless watching the images of desperate families fleeing Ukraine that I knew I had to do something," Morgan said.
“Watching the humanitarian crisis unfold in front of our eyes is absolutely devastating.
"We have to stop the suffering and Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have to stop the delays.
“Offering to sponsor 1,000 Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK through the Steve Morgan Foundation is one way we can help but we need to do more.”
The entrepreneur founded Redrow in 1974 but has increasingly focused his time on philanthropy through the Steve Morgan Foundation, which last year distributed AUD$46million (£25.8m) to charities struggling with the pandemic.
The millionaire-cum-philanthropist said it’s impossible to put a figure on how much it will cost to sponsor 1,000 refugees.
Despite this, he’s also pledged to pay for their accommodation costs for up to six months.
The UK government has come under fire in recent days over their handling of the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
Only 50 emergency visas have been granted despite 13,500 Ukrainians applying to come to the UK.
Staff at the Steve Morgan Foundation have contacted the offices of several MPs for clarity on the sponsorship process but are still waiting for responses.
“The Steve Morgan Foundation hasn’t got the facilities to do it ourselves but we can meet the cost of bringing up to a 1,000 refugees to the UK," Mr Morgan said.
Shocking - Ukrainian families turned away by UK at Calais & told to go back to Paris for a visa.— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) March 6, 2022
Priti Patel needs to get a grip.
Send an emergency @ukhomeoffice team to Calais immediately to sort this out today & get desperate people swiftly through.https://t.co/YAmyu42Xiq
"This is not the time for delays. I hope other people will do the same.”
As Home Secretary Priti Patel faces significant criticism for the UK's slow uptake of Ukrainian refugees, the government has announced a simplification of the visa process to allow for increased intakes.
Refugees who made the 2,253 kilometre journey to Britain have been turned away at the French port of Calais and told to apply for UK visas in Paris or Brussels.
On March 8, Patel admitted that a visa application centre near to where where refugees have gathered has still not been set up.
It has also emerged that the UK office in Brussels is open for only three half-days a week to process applications.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.
Featured Image Credit: Steve Morgan Foundation/ZUMA Press Inc/Alamy
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