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    EU refugee assistance for Poland insufficient says gov’t official

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    The Polish government’s refugee commissioner has declared that the amount of assistance the country has obtained from the European Union to aid refugees is “a drop in the ocean”.

    Since February 2022, when its eastern neighbour was invaded by Russia, Poland has taken in the most refugees from Ukraine of any nation. It is currently estimated that approximately 1.5 million of them are now residing in Poland.

    Pawel Szefernaker, the European Commission’s executive arm, reported to private broadcaster Radio ZET on Monday that Poland had received PLN 900 million (EUR 191 million) during the first year of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

    “It is a drop in the ocean of needs,” he said, adding that thanks to having found a place to live in Poland, the refugees have not migrated further into the EU.

    Szefernaker stated that the United Nations and the United States have provided substantial assistance to non-profit organisations.

    “The UNHCR, a UN agency that deals with refugees, spent close to PLN 3 billion (EUR 0.64 billion) in Poland (on activities – ed.) related to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in the first year of operation,” the government commissioner said. “The plans are the same for the coming year.”

    Szefernaker asserted that the government is yet to compile a thorough financial statement of the assistance Poland has been extending to Ukrainian migrants and that a genuine overview of all expenditures can only be attained after a while.

    He declared that legislation regarding aid was passed due to the fact that ten thousand Ukrainians began to move to Poland, expecting that the government will spend more than 10 billion Polish zloty or a few billion euros on relief aid.

    “When it comes to the European Union, we were saying from the very beginning that there should be an extra fund for refugees,” Szefernaker said. “It has not been created.”

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