Poland launches “container towns” for internally displaced Ukrainians | Notes From Poland

2022-05-14 15:32:48 By : Ms. megan gu

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has visited Ukraine to inaugurate the first of several planned “container towns” organised by Poland that will eventually host at least 20,000 people internally displaced by the Russian aggression.

“We cannot leave our neighbours on their own,” said Morawiecki on Tuesday morning in Lviv, where he visited the first facility to be established, which will house around 1,000 people. “We must sustain this fighting spirit also by caring for the most vulnerable.”

The facilities will be used to shelter women and children, revealed the prime minister’s chief of staff, Michał Dworczyk. Eventually, around 5,000 people will be housed in Lviv, and Poland is also hoping to establish further facilities around Kyiv, hosting a combined total of at least 20,000.

We are opening residential facilities in Lviv to shelter internally displaced people. UA can count on PL – we come with humanitarian, military and political aid. UA wants to count on EU as well, which must introduce tough sanctions and provide systemic funding to help refugees. pic.twitter.com/9fCHFtl2mf

— Mateusz Morawiecki (@MorawieckiM) April 19, 2022

Since the Russian invasion began, nearly 5 million people have left Ukraine and more than 7 million have fled their homes and settled elsewhere in the country, according to UNCHR data.

Poland has been the main destination for those fleeing Ukraine, with almost 3 million people crossing its border since the start of the war. While some have moved on to other countries and others have returned to Ukraine, it is estimated that the majority remain in Poland.

During his visit to Lviv today, Morawiecki repeated his call for the European Union to provide new forms of funding for countries hosting refugees from Ukraine.

Polish PM appeals to EU for funds to help with Ukrainian refugees

“I urge the European Commission to get this solidarity fund finally up and running, so that new money appears, rather than being moved from one drawer to another,” he said today.

Currently the EU has offered to divert money from the existing EU budget to help member states support refugees, but it has not yet agreed to provide any new money for that purpose.

Poland will reportedly receive an advance payment of €559 million to help with refugees from Ukraine, but “that is not even a drop in the ocean” of what is needed, Grzegorz Puda, the minister for funds and regional policy, told Polskie Radio today.

Poland has been the second largest donor to Ukraine since Russia's invasion, both in the total amount given and as a percent of GDP, according to @kielinstitute's Ukraine Support Tracker.

Via: https://t.co/u3tH488XRu pic.twitter.com/9FYbz6Xlql

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) April 19, 2022

Morawiecki today also repeated his calls for Western leaders to “ditch the calculators” and impose tougher sanctions on Russia. “Look into your consciences,” he declared. “That is my plea to the leaders of Western countries.”

“The crimes in Bucha, Borodzianka, Hostomel and hundreds of other towns show what a barbaric regime we have to face as Europe,” he said.

The Polish prime minister, together with representatives of the Ukrainian government, also visited wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians. He declared that Poland is ready to accept up to 10,000 injured Ukrainians in Polish hospitals.

Presidents of Poland and Baltic states visit Kyiv to show support for Ukraine

Main image credit: Krystian Maj/KPRM (under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for Reuters.

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Weronika Strzyżyńska is currently studying journalism at Goldsmiths as a Scott Trust Bursary recipient. She  has written on issues immigration and Brexit for New Statesman and Prospect

Agnieszka Wądołowska is managing editor of Notes from Poland. She has previously worked for Gazeta.pl and Tokfm.pl and contributed to Gazeta Wyborcza, Wysokie Obcasy, Duży Format, Midrasz and Kultura Liberalna”

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Stanley Bill is the founder and editor-at-large of Notes from Poland. He is also Senior Lecturer in Polish Studies and Director of the Polish Studies Programme at the University of Cambridge, where he works on Polish culture, politics and history.

Stanley has spent more than ten years living in Poland, mostly based in Kraków and Bielsko-Biała. He founded Notes from Poland in 2014 as a blog dedicated to personal impressions, cultural analysis and political commentary. He is committed to the promotion of deeper knowledge and understanding of Poland.

He is the Chair of the Board of the Notes from Poland Foundation.

Professor of European Studies at Oxford University

Professor at the Institute of History of the Jagiellonian University

Executive Director of Taube Family Foundation

Associate Professor at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Science, member of the Polish parliaments