The Russian-Ukrainian war causes worldwide horror as many other countries are affected. Some of the effects have been increased fuel prices, destruction of homes and education, among others. The human consequences, however, far outweigh this list. For Ukrainians who have become refugees in Poland and several other countries, the shock and trauma of war could be eternal.
Poland has shown exemplary human support by accepting more than 2.3 million Ukrainians on its territory in just 1 month. What a commendable gesture! Even though more and more refugees are arriving every day, as UNHCR reports, Poland’s kindness in supporting its neighbors cannot be ignored.
In addition, it is also commendable to comment on the decision of the European Union regarding refugees. It offered temporary protected status to people fleeing Ukraine. This means that refugees can access social services and the labor market without having to go through cumbersome asylum procedures. On the contrary, the registration process for these refugees will take a long time.
To help vulnerable Ukrainians settle in Poland, UNHCR and its sponsors are offering cash grants. Moreover, in their makeshift offices in Warsaw, the Ukrainians are registered and receive much-needed help. Surprisingly, since March 21, when UNHCR opened a center in Warsaw, more than 6,000 Ukrainian refugees have benefited. In addition to financial support, the cash enrollment center includes a child-friendly area for young children.
It is important to note that this cash program aims to help refugees cover their basic expenses. This includes urgent and immediate needs, as many of them find themselves without sufficient resources. On the other hand, the support aims to help them cope until they find work or receive social assistance from the government. Therefore, refugees can contribute to the local economy when they buy what they need most or pay rent.
Finally, UNHCR plans to extend this project to other Polish cities. Not only that, Moldova, Romania and Hungary are also considering this project. Alongside this initiative, parts of Ukraine are instituting similar cash assistance for the country’s 6.5 million internally displaced people who are in desperate need of basic assistance.
For example, for at least three months, qualified refugees receive 710 Polish zlotys ($165) per month. While family members of a household receive 610 Polish zlotys, a total of 2,540 zlotys (605 USD) per month.
Commenting in Poland, the head of UNHCR’s digital and registration section said: “Cash puts the decision-making on what is most needed in the hands of the assisted people”.
He added that “Blue Dot” help desks, run jointly by UNHCR and UNICEF, will be set up in each money center to provide advice to refugees and refer them to specialist services, including for children. unaccompanied persons, people with disabilities, refugees from the LGBTI+ Community or women victims of gender-based violence.
It is extremely significant that some of the staff recruited and trained by UNHCR to work in the centers are Ukrainian refugees.
The testimonies of Ilona from kyiv, Liubov, octogenarian, and Rozalia, who have benefited from the support, are quotes for the thousands of beneficiaries. It is undeniable that these cash donations have been useful to several Ukrainian families.
Given how unpredictable war has become lately, almost no country can boast of preventing its citizens from becoming refugees. Thus, this is a global call to all countries and philanthropists to support countries like Poland that apparently bear the brunt of migration. Cash donations are lasting contributions and will go a long way in mitigating the devastating effects of war. Right now, our neighbors include all human beings, not necessarily those who live right next to us. The world community must now act as if it were her.