UK, Poland to build new temporary villages in Ukraine

FILE PHOTO-British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly attends a joint news conference with Georgian Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili in Tbilisi, Georgia, March 17, 2023. Georgian Foreign Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and Poland will build two temporary villages in western and central Ukraine to provide housing for those forced from their homes by Russia's invasion, London said on Tuesday, pledging 10 million pounds ($12.3 million) in funding.

Almost 118,000 Ukrainians have been hosted by British families as part of the government's response to Russia's February 2022 invasion, but some are finding it increasingly difficult to get permanent housing.

Britain's government said the villages in Lviv in western Ukraine and Poltava in central Ukraine would be able to house more than 700 people, a fraction of the millions either displaced in Ukraine or who have fled the country.

"For the past year, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has continued to target civilian homes and infrastructure, with the Ukrainian people paying a heavy price," British foreign minister James Cleverly said in a statement.

"This new UK-Poland partnership will help bring light, heat and homes to those most in need."

($1 = 0.8149 pounds)

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)

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