To: Ms Ursula von der Leyen, Ms Hellena Dalli, Ms Elisa Ferreira, Ms Ylva Johansson, Mr Janez Lenarčič, Mr Nicolas Schmit, European Union
Campaign by the Polish NGO Alliance
Please support REAL help providers!
Polish NGOs are still willing and will work hand in hand with the Polish municipalities and local authorities at the local level to flexibly respond to the rapidly emerging needs during the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis and thereby to help the most affected. For this to happen, Polish NGOs need to be allowed to co-manage the whole process, become guaranteed beneficiaries or be integrated into an umbrella project.
TO: Honourable EU Commissioners,
The war in Ukraine has triggered a humanitarian crisis. An estimated two million Ukrainian refugees have already arrived in the EU amid the illegal Russian invasion, the vast majority of them in Poland. In response to that, in their official accounts, the representatives of the Polish government stress that aid is coordinated, financed and managed in Poland from the national level and that public national authorities are at the forefront of the health crisis management. This is simply not true!
Many Polish NGOs, looking from the perspective of helping at Polish border crossings, railway stations and night shelters for the past two weeks; can say only one thing: it is the people of Poland and the Ukrainian community that live here, supported by NGOs, who all rushed to help those fleeing the illegal war in Ukraine. Polish NGOs mobilized all possible resources and are the ones providing direct humanitarian aid at the border, in the war zone and inside Polish cities and villages and NOT the Polish Government!
The Polish NGOs were the ones who created the first reception and information points, provide medical care, psychological support, legal assistance, interpretation service, as well as arranging accommodation, childcare services, organised logistics to bring help in the war zone and bring the refugees from the eastern Ukraine border to housing inside Poland, providing basic material assistance like food and clothing. Thousands of volunteers assist, non-stop, 24 hours a day, making the most of their private resources.
This cannot go on for long, especially in the absence of sufficient (truthfully zero) help from the Polish national authorities. The resources of private people and NGOs will soon be exhausted. This will not only be disastrous for the refugees affected by the tragedy of war but could also threaten the existence of NGOs and private people who open their hearts to help.
We are grateful for the EU introducing a robust package of legislative and operational changes to mitigate the humanitarian emergency that currently impacts the Ukrainian crisis in the EU countries receiving refugees. We noticed, however, that the above-mentioned mechanisms fall mostly under shared management. In addition, we observe that the Polish Managing Authorities (regional and national public authorities) aim now at constructing projects (national or regional crisis ‘shields’) where solely the public authorities would become beneficiaries. In light of the recently attempted bill (losing by one vote), which would have guaranteed impunity to officials for their actions during Ukraine’s war, we are concerned about possible fraud in money management on the part of the Polish state’s national authorities.
This is why we see a serious need to increase the channelling of EU funds to Polish NGOs directly, following the example of mechanisms of direct access to funds provided for in the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV). A straightforward procedure is necessary for the Polish NGOs to obtain access to financing to develop tailor-made solutions for the short- and long-term integration of refugees through projects in education, employment, social inclusion and care.
Last but not least, we have not found any adequate call for proposals for direct grants. Please advise whether we can soon expect any call for proposals dedicated to NGOs concerning refugees’ integration.
Polish NGOs are willing to work hand in hand with the Polish municipalities and local authorities at the local level to flexibly respond to the rapidly emerging needs during this crisis and thereby to help the most affected. For this to happen the NGOs need to be allowed to co-manage the whole process, become guaranteed beneficiaries or be integrated into an umbrella project.
Looking forward to your assistance and quick reply.
1. Akcja Demokracja
2. Association Défense de la Démocratie en Pologne (ADDP)
3. Centrum Praw Kobiet (Women’s Rights Centre)
4. Democracy is OK DOK
5. Dziewuchy Berlin
6. DziewuChy Szwajcaria
7. Edukacja w Działaniu (Education in Action)
8. Forum Darczyńców w Polsce
9. Fundacja Autonomia (Autonomy Foundation)
10. Fundacja Cicha Tęcza
11. Fundacja Instytut Spraw Społecznych (Institute for Social Affairs Foundation)
12. Fundacja Nowej Kultury Bęc Zmiana
13. Fundacja Ogólnopolski Strajk Kobiet (Polish Women’s Strike Foundation)
14. Fundacja Otwarty Dialog (Open Dialogue Foundation)
15. Kongres Świeckości
16. Fundacja Znak
17. Inicjatywa #WolneSądy
18. Instytut Spraw Publicznych ((Institute of Public Affairs)
19. Kampania Przeciw Homofobii (Campaign Against Homophobia)
20. Komitet Obrony Demokracji
21. Love Does Not Exclude Association (Stowarzyszenie Miłość Nie Wyklucza)
22. Manifest Wolnej Polki
23. Matki na granice
24. Obywatele RP
25. Otwarta Rzeczpospolita – Stowarzyszenie przeciw Antysemityzmowi i Ksenofobii (Open Republic – Association against Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia)
26. Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH)
27. Polonijna Rada Kobiet+ (International Council of Polish Women+)
28. Pro Femina Association
29. Regionalny Kongres Kobiet w Szczecinie
30. Rok Kobiet
31. Równik Praw
32. Różowa Skrzyneczka
33. Stowarzyszenie Adwokackie Defensor Iuris
34. Stowarzyszenie Dolnośląski Kongres Kobiet
35. Stowarzyszenie Klucz
36. Stowarzyszenie Kongres Świeckości
37. Stowarzyszenie Sędziów Polskich “IUSTITIA”
38. Strajk Kobiet Berlin (FeminiBerlin Polska)
39. The Federation for Women and Family Planning (Federa)
40. Wioska Kobiet (Szwajcaria)
41. Women of Film Association