With the Azores regional government today described as “worried with the possible increase in costs of raw materials in the agricultural sector due to the war between Russia and the Ukraine”, the outpouring of aid and support elsewhere in Portugal has been exceptional.
Almost every municipality is involved in efforts of solidarity of one kind or other – from the Algarve (click here), to Portalegre, Gaia, Setúbal, Vila Real, Mirandela, Vila Nova de Gaia, Vagos, Oliveira do Hospital; from estate agents (click here), to lawyers (click here), even private individuals opening their homes to people arriving here with nothing.
The Ordem dos Enfermeiros (the Nurses’ official body) whose members have been stretched almost beyond limits through the last two years of pandemic has announced it is willing to participate in any pro-bono initiatives to help refugees set up in countries bordering Ukraine.
Up till now, in spite of the offers of help and refuge, little has been said on the numbers of Ukrainians expected to arrive in Portugal – but according to the Platform of Support to Refugees’ it is safe to assume they could reach 100,000.
For all its concern over the increase in prices for the agricultural sector, the regional government of the Azores has stressed that it too is ready to receive family members of Ukrainian immigrants. (It is not quite the same offer as elsewhere in Portugal where municipalities are not differentiating between families of immigrants or families with no ties to Portugal at all, but it is an offer nonetheless).
Much more ‘punchy’ in economic terms has been the business association of the Minho (AEM), based in Braga, which is appealing to all its associates to boycott “with immediate effect” any commercial relations they have with Russia.
AEM is to launch ‘actions to help Ukraine and its citizens immediately’, explain reports – having released a statement saying: “It is imperative that we isolate the Russian business sector so that it will be a catalyst to developing actions that lead us to peace”.
ECO online describes AEM’s president Ricardo Costa as saying that one of the association’s actions will be to offer employment to incoming Ukrainians – particularly to those who want to move to the Minho region with their families. Another iwill be to collect money to support Ukraine, through the Portuguese Red Cross.