MAREK KUCHCIŃSKI

MEMBER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF RP - DISTRICT 22

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On Central and Eastern European aid efforts in the face of the humanitarian crisis caused by Russia's war with Ukraine

During the conference organized by the EBRD in the European Parliament "With open hearts. Relief efforts of Central and Eastern Europe to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian war against Ukraine" strongly voiced support for Ukraine. The issue of strengthening the fight against disinformation and the fight against propaganda was raised. Participants agreed that Ukraine is fighting for the values on which the EU was founded, and today the importance of nation states is particularly evident. There is no way for Putin to come out of this war with a face after the crimes he has committed. We should see the face of a criminal behind bars. Russia must be defeated and weakened to the point where it can never again wage a dictatorial war. We have fought 18 wars with Russia since the 15th century. The current defensive war in Ukraine is largely seen as a proxy war that the Ukrainians are fighting for us. If they are defeated, Russia will strike Poland and other Central European countries.

Poland appreciates all the support it has received from abroad - mainly from the U.S. and the U.K. - for its humanitarian efforts in support of refugees. But so far, it has not received a single euro from the European Union to help refugees, which undermines the seriousness of this organization in the eyes of Polish citizens and makes them listen with skepticism to the declarations of EU politicians about their commitment to freedom, democracy and the humanitarian sensitivity of the EU elites.

To the politicians participating in the conference, the chairman of the PL Foreign Affairs Committee Marek Kuchcinski presented data on aid organized for Ukraine by Poland and on new systemic solutions.

As of 24.02. 2022, 3.5 million Ukrainians have arrived in Poland, the vast majority of them war refugees (more than 1 million people have moved through Przemyśl, a city with 60 thousand population! More than 3 thousand refugees live with families in Przemyśl).

The government has spent 8 billion to help refugees, under the Refugee Support Act. These funds are paid by NGS, local governments, foundations, etc.

In Polish schools, 200,000 students were enrolled, including 140,000 in elementary school.

1,100,000 PESEL identification numbers have been issued for employment, social and medical care.

Poland will continue to support refugees from Ukraine, with plans to spend €3.4 billion this year. The money will go to support housing and transport.

We will deliver €100 million in aid to Ukraine for hygiene items, medicines and house building.

As of May 5 this year. Poland has provided Ukraine with military support in the amount of EUR 1.6 billion.

Poland's numerous labor migrants from Ukraine are going the other way. Approx. 300,000 Ukrainians working in Poland before February 24 have now gone to Ukraine to defend the country. There is a fundamental difference between economic migrants and actual war refugees from Ukraine, and this is where the current reaction of the Polish government and society and support for actual refugees comes from. In previous years, propaganda attacks motivated by political hostility towards the Polish government were directed at Poland in order to accuse us of xenophobia.

Material aid - food, medicines, clothing, bedding, personal hygiene products, medical aid (evacuation of the wounded and sick - including children with chronic diseases and taking them to Poland for treatment is part of Polish aid to Ukraine fighting the Russian invasion. Humanitarian aid is important, but only victory over the invaders can save Ukrainians from death, enslavement and expulsion from their homeland.

Poles understand perfectly well the current situation of the Ukrainians and therefore, while appealing for help for Ukraine, we appeal, above all, for weapons, which will be the best tool to save the lives, health, freedom and property of the civilian population.

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