EU activates more refugee funding for Poland

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has greenlighted around EUR 31 million from the REACT-EU programme for Poland, including the transfer of some of these funds to help the country accommodate war refugees from Ukraine.

The EUR 50.5-billion React-EU financial instrument was originally set up by the EU to eliminate the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the bloc's member states and help investments in digitisation, ecology, infrastructure and services.

But on Thursday, the European Commission (EC) said that it had approved EUR 31 million under React-EU for four Polish regions "to support measures for welcoming people fleeing the war in Ukraine."

"These funds will also help strengthen the economy, health and social infrastructure," the EC added.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the EC has not found any new funding in the EU budget that could help EU countries accepting millions of refugees from Ukraine. The European Commissioner for Budget, Johannes Hahn, has said that it is possible to create a financial instrument that would be a sufficient response to the current refugee crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.

Therefore, the EC has proposed that part of the React-EU funds should be allocated to the countries which accept refugees.

Poland is carrying the brunt of the current exodus of refugees from Ukraine, mostly women, children and elderly people, fleeing their country after its invasion by Russia.