Poland offers Belarus humanitarian aid for migrants

According to Przydacz, the Belarusian charge d'affaires in Poland has received a note with the proposal for a Polish humanitarian convoy. Piotr Nowak/PAP

Poland's Foreign Ministry and the Strategic Reserves Agency have decided to offer humanitarian aid to Belarus as thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa have been arriving in the country.

Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz said on Tuesday afternoon that Poland was aware of the sometimes dire situation of migrants in Belarus.

"They may find themselves in a situation where their needs can't be immediately satisfied," Przydacz said.

"Therefore the Foreign Ministry together with the Government Strategic Reserves Agency have decided to offer aid to the Republic of Belarus in connection with the situation," the deputy minister added.

Przydacz said Poland had information that "several thousand irregular migrants are present on Belarusian territory."

"We are aware that a vast majority of them have been placed in hotels and their accommodation conditions are quite decent, but if there are situations in which those migrants should have some basic needs not satisfied by the host country that invited them there, by the Republic of Belarus, we are willing to offer help," Przydacz went on to say.

"We have information that those people are residing in Belarus legally… and then intentionally transported to the EU border in order to be trafficked," the deputy minister said.

According to Przydacz, the Belarusian charge d'affaires in Poland has received a note with the proposal for a Polish humanitarian convoy.

Michal Kuczmierowski, head of the strategic reserves agency, said Poland will offer Belarus tents, beds, sheets and blankets, personal hygiene products and Covid-19 protective materials. He said a lorry transport was about to depart to a border crossing with Belarus later in the day.

"We're also ready to send food, drugs and medical supplies," he added.

Poland already tried to send a humanitarian convoy to Belarus in late August, but Minsk did not allow the lorries to cross the border.