DRC established its presence in Poland in early 2022 as part of its Ukraine crisis response. Based out of Warsaw, DRC is currently scaling up operations and activities at key locations in the country – primarily at border crossing points and in major refugee hosting cities – providing humanitarian assistance and support to Ukrainian refugees and the communities hosting them.
The Russian Federation-led military offensive in Ukraine that began on 24 February 2022 has caused the world’s fastest-growing displacement crisis since World War II, with millions of Internally Displaced Persons within Ukraine as well as Ukrainians refugees spread across Europe.
Poland is the primary country of asylum in Western Europe for Ukrainians. Refugees either remain in Poland, depart onwards to other European countries, or return and commute to Ukraine.
Core sectors Poland
Source: | UNHCR
Why we are there
Refugees in Poland – of whom nearly all are Ukrainian women and children - face a range of issues, from needs for mental health and psychosocial support, child protection, exploitation, legal aid related to understanding rights and obligations, land tenure, lost documents, curbing tensions with host communities, and premature returns to name but just a few.
Tenure security and risk of homelessness along with social cohesion are concerns, especially if displacement becomes protracted. It is estimated that the massive exodus out of Ukraine has caused a series of legal needs that will increase with time around civil documentation – such as birth and death certificates, ID cards, pensions, child custody etc. - as well as Housing, Land and Property and Education rights, which will influence return prospects.
What we do
DRC has forged partnerships with 15 local organisations and three municipalities for the implementation of emergency cash assistance, and to improve access to information, legal aid, and temporary shelter.
As part of its response to the displacement and humanitarian needs in the region caused by the war in Ukraine, DRC supports displaced populations and the communities hosting them in Poland. This is done through partnership with national civil society and non-governmental organisations, duty bearers and other actors involved in the response. DRC supports partners in providing protection services to conflict-affected persons - in particular legal aid and counselling, mental health and psychosocial support for adults and children, access to information, running child-friendly spaces and referrals to relevant actors and institutions. DRC is also launching a protection monitoring project focusing on identifying and documenting protection risks affecting people seeking protection in Poland irrespective of the border they crossed.
Working in collaboration with
Novo Nordisk Foundation
Ole Kirk’s Fond