The United Kingdom has announced a new partnership with Poland, backed by up to £10 million in UK funding, to provide temporary homes and power for Ukrainians displaced by Russian attacks.
Housing more than 700 displaced Ukrainians
The partnership will build two major temporary villages in Lviv and Poltava, which will provide vital housing for more than 700 of the most vulnerable Ukrainians who have fled heavy fighting on the frontlines or lost their homes due to Russian shelling.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 17.6 million people are thought to be in humanitarian need in Ukraine, with more than 8 million having registered as refugees in Europe, which is the largest movement in Europe since the Second World War.
Nearly 50% of Ukraine’s pre-war population is in need of humanitarian assistance due to the catastrophic impact of President Putin’s invasion. Around 6 million people are currently displaced within Ukraine, having been forced to leave their homes and facing freezing winter conditions due to the brutal Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
Ongoing Russian targeting of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has left nearly 10 million people without power. Widespread power cuts, some lasting 8 to 12 hours a day, have forced families to resort to desperate measures for survival, like melting snow for water and heating bricks for warmth.
Generators for crucial facilities
The UK-Poland partnership will also provide £2.6 million worth of generators to support up to 450,000 people via schools, hospitals, and community centers in retaken and frontline areas, including Kharkiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv, Odesa, and Kherson.
The UK and Poland are also working with the Ukrainian Red Cross, donating up to £2.5 million to support those living through extreme cold in harsh winter conditions.
The new partnership between the UK and Poland aims to deliver temporary shelters, energy supplies, and assistance to those who have lost their homes since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The two accommodation villages in Lviv, in western Ukraine, and Poltava, in the east, will offer accommodation for more than 700 of the most vulnerable Ukrainians who have fled heavy fighting on the frontlines or lost their homes due to Russian shelling.
The UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, said,
“For the past year, Putin has continued to target civilian homes and infrastructure, with the Ukrainian people paying a heavy price. This new UK-Poland partnership will help bring light, heat, and homes to those most in need. The international community is resolute in our shared determination to support the Ukrainian people and see them prevail with a just peace on Ukrainian terms.”James Cleverly, UK Foreign Secretary
Polish Foreign Minister, Zbigniew Rau, also commented on the partnership and said,
“Poland was first to help Ukraine already in the early morning hours of 24 February 2022. The United Kingdom followed shortly after. Today we stand together in our joint endeavors to help Ukraine and its people. From the pages of Polish history, we know that Ukraine is fighting not only for their freedom but also for our freedom. There is no free Europe without free Ukraine. Today, together with the United Kingdom, we stand side-by-side in providing shelter, warmth, and above all, in providing hope for the Ukrainian IDPs, both in the west and in the central-east of the country.”Zbigniew Rau, Poland’s Foreign Minister
The Russian aggression on Ukraine was the second act of the barbaric ‘Russkij mir’ tragedy. The first act started nearly a decade ago with the annexation of Crimea by Russia. The third and final act will be the end of hostilities and peace written by Ukrainians.
The Mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyy, expressed his gratitude to the international partners for their support and help. He said, “I would like to thank our international partners for their support and help. Together, we have managed to complete this project to a high standard and make the accommodation comfortable for displaced Ukrainians who needed a new and safe home in a short space of time. Thanks to your support, hundreds of people have got a chance for a new life, because Russia took away their old one.”
On Monday, the British and Polish Ambassadors to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons and Bartosz Cichocki, were present at the inauguration of a new accommodation village in Lviv, along with several high-ranking Ukrainian officials. This event marked the launch of the UK-Poland shelter project that is being executed by Solidarity Fund Poland. The UK’s contribution to this initiative comes as part of its previous commitment to a joint UK-Poland partnership to assist Ukraine, and forms part of its broader £220 million package of humanitarian aid to Ukraine and neighboring countries.
The UK-Poland shelter project builds on Poland’s existing shelter program in Ukraine, which has already provided housing for tens of thousands of individuals. As a leading bilateral humanitarian donor, the UK is prioritizing the needs of the most vulnerable groups, including women and children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. During this crisis, the UK’s humanitarian assistance has already reached over 15.8 million people in need.
The UK’s contribution to humanitarian aid in Ukraine includes £109 million to the UN, £33 million to the Red Cross, £50 million to NGOs, and £8.4 million in in-kind assistance. The UK has also provided direct in-kind assistance to the government of Ukraine, including food, medical supplies, 75 ambulances, and over 800 generators. Additionally, the UK has extended its support to the Disasters Emergency Committee, UNHCR, and UNICEF.
The joint UK-Poland Humanitarian Shelter Project is aimed at delivering critical support to the most vulnerable in Ukraine. It will help provide housing, food, medical assistance, and other essential needs to those who have been displaced or affected by the ongoing crisis in the country. The project is expected to play a crucial role in meeting the needs of thousands of individuals and families who are struggling to cope with the harsh realities of displacement and instability.
Both UK and Poland’s commitment to providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine is a testament to its commitment to supporting those in need, especially during times of crisis.
The UK-Poland shelter project is a critical initiative that will undoubtedly help alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable in Ukraine and serve as a beacon of hope for those who are struggling to rebuild their lives in the face of immense challenges.