VICTORIA — A new telephone line has been launched by the British Columbia government to help Ukrainian refugees get the support they need and to co-ordinate donations being offered from residents.

The Service B.C. phone line, 1-800-663-7867, will be available daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with translation services in Ukrainian, Russian and 140 other languages.

The province says the phone line will help Ukrainian refugees and their families to locate and access services they need, such as employment, health care, housing and education.

It will also co-ordinate B.C. residents who want to volunteer or donate to help Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s war on their country.

A government statement says local Ukrainian groups have been overwhelmed by offers of support and they need help managing calls.

Most Ukrainians are expected to arrive through the federal government’s emergency travel program and they’ll be allowed to stay in Canada as temporary residents for up to three years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press