Minister of Culture Piret Hartman (SDE) and Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo (Reform) on Tuesday visited the MS Isabelle, the Tallink-owned cruiseferry docked in Tallinn and leased out to the state to provide housing for war refugees from Ukraine.
"Speaking with people at the adaptation program training session [aboard the Isabelle], I was convinced again that the refugees are motivated to learn about how the Estonian state and society operate and are settling in well," Hartman said according to a press release.
"To date, more than 2,700 adult recipients of temporary protection have attended the adaptation program's mandatory one-day training, and more people are registering for it each day," she highlighted.
Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Estonia has received more than 50,000 war refugees, not including those considered to be in transit. Nearly 3,700 refugees are in housing arranged by the state, including nearly 1,800 aboard the MS Isabelle.
"The state's long-term challenge is to ensure that recipients of temporary protection adapt and don't end up segregated," the minister of culture said. "In order to do so, in addition to meeting their basic needs, we also need to focus even more on facilitating their entry into the labor market and on offering various types of training. While the Social Insurance Board (SKA) and Tallink have done an incredible job thus far of organizing life on the ship, we also need to think in the longer term about where all of these people might live."
Last month, SKA extended its contract with Tallink for the leasing of the Isabelle through October 7.
Editor: Aili Vahtla