Poland is going to reduce the number of displaced people from neighboring countries next month
The government thinks that most Ukrainian refugees living in Poland are capable of earning a living. Therefore, it announced Monday that it would reduce its assistance to them. According to media reports, the government has provided four months of aid. This was stated by a senior politician from the ruling PiS party.
Over 3.5 Million people fled Ukraine to Poland since February, when the Russian military operation began. Although Warsaw provided many benefits, it is planning to reduce them. Beginning this month, refugee refugees won’t be able to travel on public transport for free. In July many will lose their daily allowance of $93 for housing and food.
Pawel Zefernaker (Deputy Interior Minister) announced Monday’s decision during an interview with TVP Info. According to the official, Ukrainians will not be paid if they are self-sufficient. There will be exceptions for those who have valid reasons to refuse a job offer in Poland. This includes pregnant women or people with disabilities.
He pointed out that there are fewer Ukrainian refugees living in Poland than before mid-May when arrivals were at an all time high.
Ukrainians seeking employment in Poland can do so and many have, an unnamed high-ranking politician from the ruling PiS party told the newspaper Rzeczpоspolita, commenting on the policy change. He said that the government would like to encourage others to follow his lead. He stated that refugees have enough time to adjust after four months of aid.
According to some officials, the newspaper spoke with representatives from different regions in Poland and was skeptical of their decision. Jan Golba is the mayor for Muszyna which is a small town in south Poland. He said that the 1 month deadline was unrealistic and asked for an extension by at most one month. Golba claimed that 400 Ukrainians live in his community, a decrease from 1,300 at the peak, while only 60 found employment.
“Anyone who wants to work will find employment. And whoever does not want to – nothing will force him to do so,”The mayor stated.
Piotr Dlugosz, a researcher of the Ukrainian community in Poland, told Rzeczpоspolita that the loss of benefits will not be a major blow to most of them. Over 70% of the refugees have their own means for living, he said, adding that he expects many aid recipients to simply return to Ukraine after it is cut off by the host nations – which would benefit Ukraine itself, he noted.
“If this young and dynamic group with high human capital does not come back, it will be difficult for Ukrainians to create a strong and modern state,” Dlugosz said.
Warsaw has previously requested that the EU give more money to pay for the aid to refugees. Poland needs billions of euros, but the European Commission offered €144.6 million, Szefernaker told Polish media last week.