People in Need has released 20,000 euros to help people at Poland’s borderPublished: Nov 12, 2021 Reading time: 2 minutes
People in Need (PIN) is dismayed by the deteriorating situation on the Polish-Belarusian border. The Belarusian government is using the aspirations of people fleeing war and persecution, or simply searching for a better life, for its own political gain. This is a shameless manipulation of refugees that is aimed at dividing European society and pressuring European Union member states.
Moreover, the humanitarian crisis that the government of Belarus has created is endangering the lives of thousands. As winter approaches, vulnerable migrants are stranded in inhospitable terrain – dense forests, swamps, and marshes – and are increasingly at risk from the elements.
The elderly, women, and children are particularly vulnerable. At least 15 people have already died at the border and thousands more face exhaustion, hypothermia, and hunger.
While the Belarusian government bears full responsibility for this crisis, Poland’s response has not be without fault. By denying medical and humanitarian workers access to the border area, Poland is on the verge of violating international humanitarian law.
International law governing asylum is also be trampled. Human Rights Watch, which is directly monitoring the situation on the ground, reports: “While the European Union and its member states are focused on war talk, states of emergency, and barbed wire fences, the acute suffering of the women, men, and children trapped in limbo at the border is being ignored. To prevent further deaths, the EU and its member states need to work with Poland to immediately ensure humanitarian access to border areas, currently off-limits to those who can help.”
In response to the developing crisis, PIN has released 500,000 Czech crowns (about 20,000 euros) from the Club of Friends fund. The money has been provided to Grupa Granica, a consortium of NGOs that, through a network of resident volunteers in the border area, are providing humanitarian assistance to refugees. Grupa Granica is also monitoring the crisis, collecting testimonies and providing legal services for people applying for asylum.
If you are interested, you can also support the work of Grupa Granica directly through one of their members, Fundacja Polska Gościnność
Account name: Fundacja Polska Gościnność
Account number: PL12 1750 0012 0000 0000 4087 4232
Bank and address: BNP Paribas Polska ul. Kasprzaka 2, 01-211 Warszawa
SWIFT code: PPABPLPK
IBAN: PL12 1750 0012 0000 0000 0000 4087 4232
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