Almost 70 Ukrainian refugee families have been assisted in Newry in just one month.
People fleeing Ukraine following the Russian invasion have been allocated new homes in the border city from the assistance headquarters at Newry Leisure Centre.
Stormont’s Department of Finance has identified four assistance council areas in Northern Ireland through its Ukraine Refugee Operational Support Team which opened in early April. The others are Craigavon, Belfast and Ballymena.
A spokesperson for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said: “We are working with the Executive Office and other government departments to support the arrival of Ukrainian refugees to our local district.
“NMDDC can advise that as of 17 May 2022, 67 families have been supported at the Ukraine Assistance Centre in Newry Leisure Centre.
“The centre provides welcome information and signposting services for newly arrived refugees.
“The operation of the centre has no impact on Newry Leisure Centre users and is kept under review.”
The current set-up is expected to continue for a further number of weeks with discussions under way about a future model.
Refugees can seek support with jobs and benefits as well as education, health, housing, legal support and a support payment.
The Executive Office is expected to cover all costs relating to the Ukraine Assistance Centres.
The Newry Leisure Centre is host to the Ukraine refugee assistance centre each Tuesday between 9.30am and 4pm.