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Two-thirds of Ukrainian refugees in Czechia living below poverty line: study

Two-thirds of Ukrainian refugees in Czechia living below poverty line: study Ukrainians in Czehia (Getty Images)

Ukrainian refugees seeking a better life in Czechia find themselves grappling with financial difficulties, as the majority of working-age individuals have secured employment but largely earn minimal wages, according to the data from a recent study, reports.

The study was conducted by PAQ Research along with the Institute of Sociology at the Czech Academy of Sciences. It was carried out in June 2023, and surveyed 1,425 households, comprising a total of 3,789 individuals, including 1,203 children.

According to the survey data, 68% of the refugees live below the poverty line, with 45% of families indicating they could sustain themselves for less than a month with their savings.

Though 67% of economically active refugees have managed to find work, over 40% of them are employed in roles significantly below their qualifications. A third of respondents reported working without social or medical insurance and paid leave.

"The majority of refugees earn only up to 150 Czech crowns per hour ( 6 euros)," the survey highlighted. "A quarter of these individuals require additional work to meet their basic needs."

Language barriers were identified as the most significant obstacle to employment, with 71% of respondents citing insufficient knowledge of the Czech language. Other challenges included difficulty in arranging childcare (29%) and issues related to the recognition of educational qualifications obtained in Ukraine (28%).

Almost half of the refugees (49%) live in rented accommodations. As of July 1st, the government has begun providing housing support for more than 150 days exclusively to the most vulnerable among the fleeing population.

Two-thirds of Ukrainian refugees in Czechia living below poverty line: studyPhoto: Free accommodation for Ukrainian refugees in Czechia (

Experts have raised concerns about the current state support scheme, suggesting it might inadvertently discourage refugees from accurately reporting their incomes. In June, 60% of refugees received assistance.

"The calculation of humanitarian aid includes 100% of household income. If the legal income increases by 1 crown, the aid will also decrease by 1 crown, and the total income will not increase. This discourages the increase of legal income, the state loses in collecting less taxes and fees," sociologist Daniel Prokop explained.

He proposed an alternative approach, suggesting that assistance calculations should consider only a portion of earned income.

"It can be 70% of income from work, as in the case of Czech households that apply for financial assistance," the expert suggests.

Earlier it was reported why the attitude of Poles towards Ukrainian refugees is changing.