1-800-663-7867: Service BC prepares to support displaced Ukrainians, eager volunteers

Ukrainian rescue workers carry an elderly woman under a destroyed bridge in Irpin, close to Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 1, 2022. Talks to stop the fighting in Ukraine resumed Friday, as another attempt to rescue civilians from the shattered and encircled city of Mariupol broke down and Russia accused the Ukrainians of a cross-border helicopter attack on an oil depot. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)Ukrainian rescue workers carry an elderly woman under a destroyed bridge in Irpin, close to Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, April 1, 2022. Talks to stop the fighting in Ukraine resumed Friday, as another attempt to rescue civilians from the shattered and encircled city of Mariupol broke down and Russia accused the Ukrainians of a cross-border helicopter attack on an oil depot. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
A police officer checks the documents of a family arriving from Mariupol at a refugee center in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, Friday, April 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)A police officer checks the documents of a family arriving from Mariupol at a refugee center in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, Friday, April 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

Service BC is preparing to ensure Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion are connected to the support needed upon arriving in the province.

The province announced Friday (April 1) that the Service BC phone line, 1 800 663-7867, will be available with translation services in Ukrainian, Russian and 140 other languages and will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.

The phone line will help connect those arriving with services such as employment, health care, housing and education, as well as coordinate British Columbians who want to volunteer or donate.

“Ukrainian community organizations in major urban centres and regional hubs have indicated they are overwhelmed by the generosity of British Columbians and need help managing calls and offers of support,” a statement by the province said. “This phone number will help assist with these pressures.”

Most Ukrainians coming to B.C. are expected to arrive through the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program. Under this new federal program, Ukrainians and their family members will be allowed to stay in Canada as temporary residents for up to three years and apply for work permits.

The oprovince said it is coordinating a cross-government response to ensure Ukrainians have access to supports and programs they need. Additional supports will come online in the weeks ahead.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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