Ukraine working with Poland on program to build shelter for Ukrainians – ambassador
Ukraine is working with the Polish government to prepare a housing construction program for Ukrainians, Ukrainian Ambassador to Poland Andriy Deschytsia said.
"But the issue of accommodation, accommodation for Ukrainians will continue to be relevant. Therefore, we are working with the Polish government to prepare an appropriate housing construction program for Ukrainian citizens. But this is not an easy process. This requires a budget. This was not provided for by the Polish state budget, Ukrainians have no such funds, so we have to work together with the EU and work out various kinds of assistance from the EU to Poland, which will be provided to support the Ukrainians here," Deschytsia said in an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
According to him, Ukrainian citizens who applied for refugee status in Poland are literally isolated cases.
"In most cases, Ukrainians either rent lodgings, or while they are with their friends or relatives or complete strangers who are ready to provide a roof over their heads in difficult times," the ambassador said.
Deschytsia pointed out that Poland does not refuse to accept Ukrainians and declares its readiness to help them further.
"Of course, this enthusiasm and support will largely depend on financial resources. Together with the Poles, we want to convince the EU to allocate additional funds to Poland to support Ukrainians in Poland. It is clear that Poland now has the biggest challenge regarding the reception of Ukrainian citizens," he explained.
The diplomat said that now we are talking about a fund that was founded by the EU for the recovery of Poland and the Polish economy after COVID.
“We are talking about EUR 160 billion. But due to certain circumstances, criticism from the EU of justice reforms in Poland, these funds were frozen and are still at the disposal of the EU. But these funds exist and everything must be done so that they are allocated to Poland. This will significantly improve the situation with Poland's budget, as well as provide a certain perspective that could help provide Ukrainians with housing and create conditions for employment, education, and medical care for Ukrainians," Deschytsia said.
The ambassador drew attention to the fact that this amount – EUR 160 billion - is allocated for the central government of Poland, but first of all, the burden from such a large number of Ukrainian citizens who fled the war falls on local governments, local authorities, because they are still directly in the city or village, where they solve their primary needs with housing, education, kindergarten, medical care and work.