Poland to receive refugee aid from EU
The European Commission (EC) has decided to channel EUR 248 million in extraordinary aid to the five countries, including Poland, that have borne the brunt of the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
Poland has been the prime destination with over 3 million people crossing its eastern border, but the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania will also receive funding.
"The decision follows the April 9 global pledging event 'Stand Up for Ukraine', where the Commission committed up to EUR 400 million to support refugees from Ukraine in the most affected member states," the EC said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Member states can use these funds to provide immediate assistance such as food, transport and temporary accommodation for people fleeing Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, while also increasing their capacity to manage the EU's external borders," the EC added.
"To ensure that funds are quickly disbursed without a heavy administrative burden, the Commission will release the funding based on results achieved, rather than the actual costs," the EU body commented.
The Commission will make the remaining EUR 152 million available after receiving approval from the EU's budget authority.
Since February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine, 3,442,000 people have crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border into Poland, the Polish Border Guard tweeted on Wednesday morning.
Some of the refugees have continued their journey to the West and a considerable number have already returned to their country, but most have stayed in Poland. So far, the costs of hosting the refugees have been covered by Polish society and the government.