EUROPE

Poland's biggest humanitarian aid hub assists Ukrainians fleeing war

Anadolu Agency visits Warsaw Expo hub where 50,000 people were hosted since start of war in Ukraine

H. J. I. / AA

Ukrainian civilians fleeing from their country due to ongoing Russia's attacks on Ukraine, continue to arrive by train in Przemysl, Poland on April 3, 2022.

Foto: AA


As the number of Ukrainian refugees is rapidly rising across Europe and has passed 4 million, neighboring Poland has so far hosted more than 2 million of those who fled the war.

Arriving in major cities in Poland either by trains, buses or other means of transport since the start of the war in Ukraine on Feb. 24, most of them are registered and hosted at refugee hubs.

One of the biggest of those hubs in Europe is located in Warsaw, the massive Ptak Warsaw Expo Centre with a full capacity of 20,000.

The center has so far hosted 40,000 people

One of the biggest of those hubs in Europe is located in Warsaw, the massive Ptak Warsaw Expo Centre with a full capacity of 20,000.

The refugee hub, which is named as Ptak Humanitarian Aid Centre, serves as the first accommodation for thousands of Ukrainians who either would like to stay in Poland or go to other European countries.

The center, which serves as a connection point for refugees, has so far hosted 40,000 people, with 25,000 of those relocating somewhere else in Europe, Ayse Abaci, the Expo’s international relations and fair development specialist, told Anadolu Agency.

She said refugees are collected from Poland-Ukraine border and provided a safe environment at the hub until they leave for other countries or a suitable home in Poland is found for them.

- So our center is under the name of Ptak Humanitarian Aid Centre, and it started shortly after the war erupted in Ukraine - Abaci said.

She said: 

- The idea behind our organization here is that this is a refugee hub, where refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine are coming here taken from the border cities and staying here for three four days until they are relocated in another European country or found a more stable environment, a home that can accommodate them in Poland.

Where Ukrainian refugees go

People who arrive at the center can leave for Germany and Spain by coaches provided for them. There is also an information point for those who would like to go to the UK.

Kazimerz Cwikla, the vice-president of Ptak Warsaw Expo, who also spoke to Anadolu Agency, said most of those who left Poland preferred to go to Germany.

Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Estonia are the other major destinations for Ukrainian refugees, according to officials.

- We're working very hard during this this time, more than 50,000 refugees from Ukraine passed through our humanitarian aid center - Cwikla said.

The number of Ukrainian refugees who fled from war so far now stands at 4,215,047 according to UNHRC figures. There are currently over 2 million Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

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