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Trócaire extends financial support to Caritas Poland for response to humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

Photos from the Ukraine/Poland border. Credit: Caritas Photos from the Ukraine/Poland border. Credit: Caritas

Over the past several days the world has watched in horror as the conflict in Ukraine has torn apart the lives of millions of civilians, triggering a devastating humanitarian crisis.

The response across the world has been one of solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

Trócaire is working with Caritas Europa, which is made up of 49 member organisations across Europe, to coordinate support to Ukraine. We support Caritas in its call for humanitarian corridors to be guaranteed to allow people to leave safely, and to enable humanitarian supplies to enter the country.

Specifically, Trócaire is extending financial support to Caritas Poland in its support of the hundreds of thousands of people on the move, primarily women and children.

Caritas is helping people in transit, assisting them to make their way to the border. It is also supporting those who are left behind with supplies and those who reach the border, providing food, shelter, transport and psychosocial support.

As well as supporting Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland, Caritas Poland is providing support to its sister organizations in Ukraine – the Roman Catholic Caritas-SPES and the Greek Catholic Caritas Ukraine – which continue to provide humanitarian aid during the Russian aggression.

Poland has received hundreds of thousands of refugees from Ukraine over the past week, and volunteers from Caritas Poland are providing food, blankets, hygiene kits and other essentials to people at the border as they arrive.

Arrival in Poland

Most of the refugees fleeing from the Russian aggression in Ukraine are arriving in Poland. The figures change from hour to hour, but it is already in the hundreds of thousands, mostly women and children. For many of them, the first place where they receive help is the railroad station in Przemyśl.

Maria, a teacher from Ternopil, who came to Poland with three children, said:

“The first night was terrifying. There was no light, we got dressed, the most important things were packed while we were leaving. If the siren sounded, we were always ready to escape to the bomb shelter. It was a terrible experience.”

Inna, a clerk from the Ternopil region, who also reached Poland with three children, said:

“Russian troops are bombing cities with air bases and military units. Not far from our city there was an air base that was shelled at night.”

Caritas of the Archdiocese of Przemyśl coordinates help for refugees at the station in collaboration with the Sub-Carpathian Province governor.

“We offer them meals, shelter and warm blankets.” says the deputy director of Caritas Przemyśl, Fr. Paweł Konieczny. He adds that refugees coming to Poland have immediate contact with volunteers, also in Korczowa and Medyka, where registration points operate. “These people are cared for, they receive hot meals, packed lunches, hygiene and cosmetic products. We also organize support for mothers: childcare and various activities for kids, so that their mothers can also rest.”

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