The Polish Center for International Aid had supported Ukraine even before 24th February, when the Russian military invaded the country. However, to this day the situation has become more and more dangerous. Therefore the Polish Center for International Aid has immediately initiated a fundraising campaign to finance the work of Ukrainian humanitarian workers who cooperate on-site with the Polish foundation (polish workers were not sent to Ukraine for safety reasons).
Those humanitarian workers help to evacuate the inhabitants from the most dangerous areas. They also created a transit point of humanitarian aid placed at the west bank of the Dnieper river for people fleeing from the war.
– We prepare them for their further journey, feed them and help with logistics – explains Alexey, co-worker of Polish Center for International Aid in Kharkiv, Ukraine. – First families came to our center on the very first day of the invasion. They also arrive at night. There are children and elders among them, many with their pets. They can keep them, which is not usual in this kind of aid point – relates Alexey.
The Polish foundation helps to evacuate people from East to West of Ukraine
The points of humanitarian aid are also created on the trails used by refugees traveling from the East to the West of Ukraine. Each one offers Ukrainian people protection, nutrition, a place to sleep and rest before a further journey.
– The most important thing now is logistics. We coordinate their journeys, offer on-site help and give them tips for the future for example where to find help during a further escape. It is important so they can make it before the curfew – emphasizes Alexey. Also, people who are not planning further journeys can find free aid and accommodation in the Polish Center of International Aid points of humanitarian assistance. – We can offer them free accommodation practically at every point – convinces Alexey.
Kharkiv can count on Polish support
Kharkiv is one of the cities at the biggest risk of being attacked by the Russian army as it is located near the Ukraine-Russia border. The most dangerous fights have been taking place there for the last few days. Therefore the Polish Center for International Aid will coordinate the evacuation of Kharkiv’s inhabitants when it is possible. – We have the transport and people ready to engage thanks to the cooperation with Lithuanian humanitarian workers but the curfew is in force until 8 am, Monday 28th. Kharkiv is still under attack by Russia, so the authorities ordered not to leave the houses and it is forbidden to travel by car – told us, Alexey, on Sunday, 27th February. Moreover, another point of humanitarian aid may be held in Kharkiv. – We still have resources, we only need to find a safe place, so people are not be threatened while using it – tells Alexey.
A new system of humanitarian aid
The need to deliver humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people grows among the international community. Consequently, one of the most important tasks for today for the Polish Center for International Aid workers is to arrange a new system of transporting humanitarian support through the borders and its effective redistribution among those in need.
– Usually, it took us between 7 and 10 days, now it is necessary to do it faster – says, Alexey. As he emphasizes, the new system will be based on the voluntary work of locals, for example, drivers of transport companies. He explains that the humanitarian aid will be first delivered to our partnering organizations that will redistribute it directly to people in need.
Polish Center for International Aid helps financially
Money from the Polish Center for International Aid’s fundraising campaign enables the humanitarian workers to create and maintain the points of aid. – It allows us to buy food, hygiene products, equipment for temporary kitchens like cooking and power devices or gas cylinders – enumerates Alexey. The fundraising campaign also covers the other costs of humanitarian work in Ukraine for example fuel.
Polish firms support Ukraine
Currently, Polish Center for International Aid delivers humanitarian aid in Ukraine that responds to all the most urgent needs of the Ukrainian people. However, the foundation is looking for solutions that will help not only the people in Ukraine but also the refugees who come to Poland. The support from Polish enterprises that transfer millions of zlotys is crucial. The biggest firms that supported the campaign are Danone, Żabka, and Wedel. Previous partners of the Polish Center for International Aid and Medical Rescue Team as well as persons well-known from Polish media like YouTube creator Karol Paciorek also declare to support aid projects that will start soon.
– It shows great solidarity and unity. It is also more and more common to organize fundraisers among the workers who later transfer the income to the Polish Center for International Aid account. The situation is dynamic and we know that every reasonable action will be necessary soon, also in Poland – underlines Michalina Chachuła from Polish Center for International Aid.