In Poland, government programs to support those who took in people fleeing from Ukraine are ending, but helping Ukrainian citizens continues. What will it be like in July? Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.
Mrs. Natalia from Kiev and her two children were taken into their own home by the Pietraszewski couple. The family from Ukraine is already living on their own, but the family has not yet received any compensation for their stay in a Polish home. – We didn’t get any 40 zlotys a day, and that was made a month and a half ago. We have not received a single letter or application, says Justyna Pietraszewska.
While some have not yet received their money, the Ministry of the Interior and Administration has announced that the admission benefits program will not be extended.
– We cannot provide all the people who come here indefinitely with this level of help – admits Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration Paweł Bossernaker.
Subsidies for helping refugees will not be extended
From July onwards, the government will no longer grant benefits to newly admitted refugees. – Local governments will not allow Ukrainians to be left without help, so it will be support from local governments, from non-governmental organizations, but this should be the role of the state, says Agnieszka Pomaska from the Civic Platform.
Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Marcin Horała, emphasizes that “from the very beginning it was said that this is a temporary solution that cannot be kept indefinitely”. – These are huge costs for the Polish budget. Poland helps Ukraine in various ways – he adds.
– Millions of refugees from Ukraine have to live somewhere since July 1, they have to eat something. It’s not like you can stop eating from July 1. This is a bad decision – says Krzysztof Śmiszek from Nowa Lewica.
There are currently about 1.5 million refugees in Poland
In mid-March, the government introduced a benefit of PLN 40 per day for people admitting refugees from Ukraine at home. Then he changed the regulations, introducing the condition of having a PESEL number and extending the duration of the benefit to 120 days or more for, among others, sick people. The Ministry of the Interior and Administration does not know yet how many people have benefited from this aid.
– We estimate that it will be about half a million Poles who will apply for this benefit – says Paweł Szefernaker. The deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration ensures that everyone who accepted a refugee before the obligation to enter a PESEL number was introduced will receive the benefit. – There will be a transition period of 14 days so that every Pole who has accepted a refugee will be able to obtain this benefit, despite the fact that he does not have a PESEL number – he added.
So far, 1.1 million people have been given a PESEL number. According to the login data of Ukrainian telephones, there are currently about 1.5 million refugees in Poland. – The explosion of solidarity and the fact that Poles and Poland have a good image result from the fact that people helped many Ukrainians, not because the state did so well – notes Adam Szłapka from Nowoczesna.
Refugees keep coming to Poland
The government explains that more and more Ukrainians are returning to the country – several thousand people a day. But this does not mean that refugees stopped coming to Poland. – There are people who are coming only now, because the route was very long with them, so we have new people and there are people who have not received any help yet – emphasizes Volodymyr Makarus from the Agape Foundation.
The Ministry of Interior and Administration admits that it notices a constant influx of refugees. – We have several thousand people a day that we register in the PESEL database and the number of these people is so large that I think that systematically there will be more of these people – says Paweł Szefernaker.
These several thousand people a day need a roof over their heads.
Lack of benefits may discourage people from helping. – They will have a dilemma. The heart is one thing, and one’s own needs are the other – says Andrzej Lulka, who took refugees from Ukraine into his home.
At the train station in Krakow, volunteers already feel the outflow of state aid. Regular people and organizations are constantly helping.
Main photo source: Darek Delmanowicz / PAP