DUBLIN, Ireland: An estimate by senior civil servants claims that Ireland could be hosting 180,000 refugees by the end of 2023, straining government services, including healthcare, housing and more.
Currently, 90,000 refugees are hosted by Ireland.
The estimates of refugees were included in reports prepared for Government Chief Whip Hildegarde Naughton, which was released following a Freedom of Information request.
Media reports indicate that Naughton was advised in December that allocating additional funds for healthcare for Ukrainians required the government's attention.
In the report, it was noted that the funding was needed for 90,000 people by the end of 2022 and "up to twice that by end of 2023."
It was further reported that in 2022, 50,000 medical cards were issued to refugees from Ukraine.
Meanwhile, in 2022 the Health Service Executive provided healthcare services to 18,000 refugees.
Further, Naughton was advised that the Health Service Executive is preparing a "service delivery model," for arriving refugees, in anticipation of large numbers arriving in the years ahead.