A thought-out and long-term approach to integrating Ukrainian citizens in Poland may raise the country’s GDP by 0.2 to 3.5 per cent, a report from consultancy Deloitte has claimed.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War. The report, titled ‘Refugees from Ukraine in Poland. Challenges and potential of integration’ cites figures that around 1.5 million of the Ukrainians that have entered Poland intend to stay.
“A thought-out, systemic and long-term approach to the integration of Ukrainian citizen can result in GDP growth of 0.2 to 3.5 per cent,” the report says. “At the same time, it will have a positive effect on the process of rebuilding the neighbouring country destroyed by war.”
In the view of Deloitte’s experts, “activating war refugees in line with their qualifications and better access to the housing market are key.”
Deloitte’s Michal Wodzicki, cited in a company press release, said that in the first weeks of the war, help for people from Ukraine was spontaneous, ad-hoc, and short-term.
“There exists a strong need for the creation of a comprehensive, long-term plan that takes into account the possibility of further refugee waves,” he said, adding that in such an event a standardised method of communicating with refugees would be needed.
The consultancy’s analysts said the success of integrating Ukrainian refugees was dependent on the support they received after entering Poland, with the guarantee of professional development for adults and schooling of children being “a fundamental issue.”
Deloitte’s Julia Patorska said Ukrainian refugees working in Poland send some of their earnings home, so increasing their income would mean more money for Ukraine’s reconstruction.
Deloitte said refugees should be offered online and traditional Polish language training as 74 per cent of businesspeople consider refugees’ Polish to be poor or very poor.
Deloitte also pointed out that 60 per cent of Ukrainian refugees in Poland have higher education.
“Work below their qualification is a waste of human capital,” Wodzicki said.