Ukraine: LWF provides cash assistance to refugees in Poland
Registration centers in six localities to reach at least 60,000 vulnerable families
(LWI) – In response to the needs of a growing number of refugees fleeing war in Ukraine, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is working closely with its member church, the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland ( ECACP), to implement a cash assistance project in six localities in the country.
As of April 27, figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) show that more than 5.2 million people have fled the conflict in Ukraine, of whom nearly 3 million have crossed the border into neighboring Poland. The Multipurpose Cash Assistance Project will provide support to some of the most vulnerable refugees over the next three months. It will be deployed through LWF centers in six locations: the port city of Gdansk and the city of Ostroda in the north, Wroclaw in the west, Bytom Miechowice and Bielsko Biala in the south, and Zgierz in central Poland. .
Individuals and families will be able to register at one of the centers, allowing them to withdraw money from banks across the country. The centers will also provide services, including counseling for children suffering from post-traumatic stress and referral services for victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
Flexibility and integration
The cash distribution offers a flexible form of support to refugees, allowing them to prioritize and meet their most urgent needs. It also aims to restore a sense of normalcy and integration with the local host community, as refugees interact on an equal footing in the marketplace, rather than having to rely on aids that may not meet their needs. specific needs. Cash aid also brings benefits to the Polish economy and obviates the need for trucks and warehouses that are needed for more traditional forms of humanitarian aid.
The project is primarily supported by UNHCR, with help from other LWF partners including ACT Church of Sweden, Diakonie Austria, Corus International, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Kerk in Actie. It aims to reach at least 60,000 of the most vulnerable families, providing monthly withdrawals of 710 Polish zlotys (€150) for the head of each household and 610 Polish zlotys (€130) for each member.
We are extremely grateful for the openness and generosity of the worldwide Lutheran communion.
ECACP Presiding Bishop Jerzy Samiec said, “Refugees who were forced to flee the war in Ukraine find themselves in very difficult physical, emotional, material and psychological conditions. When we accept them in Poland, we have to provide assistance in all these areas. In our homes, we show them our understanding, support and love. But we are also aware that they need money to live on, which is why this multipurpose cash assistance project is so important and timely.
Bishop Samiec added, “Since the beginning of the war, ECACP has done everything it could with the resources it had to help the refugees from Ukraine. We are really happy that the LWF is supporting us and providing help, not only in Poland, but also in Ukraine. We are extremely grateful for the openness and generosity of the worldwide Lutheran communion.
The project is part of the LWF’s broader response to the Ukraine crisis, which includes supporting frontline churches to welcome refugees in Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary, as well as helping displaced people. inside Ukraine. In particular, religious leaders note the urgent needs of those who have remained in eastern and southern Ukraine, where heavy fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russian forces continues to claim casualties and destroy infrastructure.
The LWF is coordinating a response through its member churches in Ukraine and neighboring countries to ensure support for refugees fleeing Ukraine and their arrival in safety and dignity. The work is supported by LWF funding partners, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
LWF action in Ukraine