UNHCR and Better Shelter
In August and September 2021, reports emerged that migrants and refugees were entering the Lithuanian border through Belarus, in what UNHCR called a “completely unique situation.” Since early 2021, it is estimated “4,000 mostly Iraqi asylum seekers from 40 countries have crossed from Belarus into Lithuania irregularly. That’s 50 times more than during all of last year.”
In response to this situation, on August 13, UNHCR Representative in Lithuania stated that the “emergency phase” of the mass arrivals appeared to be over and emphasized that “Lithuania must now focus on the wellbeing of the people held in immigration detention centres and on assessing their claims for international protection.”
To support country efforts, UNHCR provided 15 units of the Relief Housing Unit (RHU) to the local implementing partners in Lithuania. The RHUs will be used as part of the country and EU’s response and reception services, possibly as temporary shelters, community centres, reception units and offices.
LocationBorder area of Lithuania
Number of units15
ApplicationTemporary shelters, community centres, reception units and offices.