Your browser is not up to date.
If you wish to view the Action Against Hunger website correctly, update your browser.
Find the latest versions of supported browsers listed below.
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a major military operation in Ukraine, which caused one of the largest population displacements in Europe since the Second World War.
Millions of people fled from Ukraine. Poland, which was a country that received relatively few refugees, suddenly became one of the main host countries in the world. The massive arrivals of last year ago have declined, but every day new Ukrainian refugees continue to arrive in Poland. As of January 2023, 1.5 million refugees have been registered in Poland for temporary protection and an estimated 950,000 Ukrainians are currently in the country.
The situation of Ukrainian refugees in Poland poses a double challenge. The first is to provide short-term assistance to meet their immediate needs. Indeed, many have left quickly, leaving everything behind. The longer the conflict lasts, the more vulnerable the new arrivals become. It is estimate that of the Ukrainian refugees who recently arrived in Poland, 12% are disabled, 15% have serious medical conditions, 11% are elderly with specific care needs and 22% are single parents.
The second challenge is to respond to their medium and long-term needs by integrating them into Polish society while the conflict in Ukraine tends to last and the prospects of immediate return are diminishing for some of them.
“Faced with this unprecedented situation for Poland, the support of the authorities and citizens was very strong in the first months. Unfortunately, this support is diminishing as many refugees are not yet able to be self-sufficient. In this situation, the presence of Action Against Hunger alongside Polish civil society organizations is essential to provide timely assistance close to the needs” explains Romesh de Zoysa, Country Director for Action Against Hunger in Poland.
Action Against Hunger operate in Poland since the beginning of March 2022 only in collaboration with national partners. Action Against Hunger has been implementing multi-purpose cash assistance, food distribution, increased access to water, hygiene and sanitation, mental health and psychosocial support programs to address the urgent psychological needs of Ukrainian refugees.
Action Against Hunger and its Polish partners use complementary experiences to best support Ukrainian refugees. The local partners have a strong understanding of the context and technical expertise, while Action Against Hunger brings its understanding of the humanitarian sector (principles, structure, financing) which allows to scale up the operations and make them sustainable.
It is within this framework that, for example, in April 2022, Action Against Hunger started a partnership with the Nagle Sami Foundation, which specialized in supporting people who have lost their loved ones or who have suddenly found themselves alone for any other reasons.
“Loss is a very painful personal experience that can involve various aspects of human life: loss of loved ones, of a home, of possessions, of a sense of security and belonging, of an identity. That’s why, when the conflict in Ukraine escalated, causing thousands of people to flee, we felt it was our responsibility to help them,” explains Olga Puncewicz of the Nagle Sami Foundation.
Action Against Hunger and the Nagle Sami Foundation have set up joint activities in Warsaw since May 2022 to help Ukrainian refugees. The interventions focus on psychological support for people affected by the conflict.
“We intervene in the transit center of the East Station in Warsaw. To do this, individual and group activities have been deployed, focusing on psychological first aid (PFA), stress management and trauma-focused psychosocial interventions,” describes Romesh from Zoysa.
A team of four psychologists and a team leader provide mental health support services on a daily basis at various locations. In addition to the transit center, this team of professionals provides services in the Nagle Sami clinic and conducts outreach activities in the Warsaw area. In addition, Nagle Sami runs a helpline for psychological support of the local population and refugees in cases of grief and loss. In parallel, Nagle Sami’s psychologists have received trauma-informed training and supervision from Action Against Hunger teams accustomed to working with displaced and traumatized populations.
“Since the beginning of the partnership between the Nagle Sami Foundation and Action Against Hunger, more than 3,000 refugees have been helped. This shows that the local-international alliance can make a significant contribution to sustainable humanitarian assistance for Ukrainian refugees,” concludes Romesh de Zoysa.
In 2022, Action Against Hunger and its various partners helped more than 20,000 people in Poland.
All the news of our Action: articles, events, testimonials, press releases…