Czech charity to send aid to migrants stranded at Polish-Belarusian border

People in Need will send 500,000 crowns to support thousands of migrants stuck at the EU border as winter months approach.


Written by ČTK Published on 13.11.2021 09:42:00 (updated on 13.11.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

People in Need will send half a million crowns to support people stranded at the Polish-Belarusian border, the Czech humanitarian organisation said in a press release on Friday.

"The worsening weather, falling temperatures, movement in an impassable forest full of swamps and marshes, and the banned presence of humanitarian organizations have resulted in a situation that is more and more desperate for people at the border," People in Need said.

"There are a lot of vulnerable people there, seniors, women, and children."

People in Need stated that at least 15 people have died, and the lives of thousands may be at stake.

According to the Polish border guard, about three or four thousand people from crisis regions who want to enter the European Union are currently on the Belarusian side of the border.

Both Poland and the EU have accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of transporting people in desperate situations from countries like Iraq or Syria to Belarus and using them as a weapon in a hybrid war against the EU. Lukashenko is accused of retaliating against sanctions imposed by the EU on his regime following human rights violations in Belarus.

A state of emergency has been declared at the Polish border with Belarus; neither humanitarian workers nor journalists have access to the area.

People in Need said Poland clearly cannot accept the actions of the Belarusian government, but it considers the Polish reaction disproportionate and inhumane, and it opens doors to a humanitarian crisis at the border zone.

It said Poland may be violating international humanitarian legislation by not letting healthcare and humanitarian workers enter the border zone. According to available information, asylum procedure rules have also been violated, it said.

Human Rights Watch has called on the EU and its member states, in cooperation with Poland, to immediately allow humanitarian aid in the border zones.

People in Need has earmarked 500,000 crowns from its humanitarian fund to support those stranded at the border. The money will be distributed through the Grupa Granica consortium of NGOs, whose volunteers provide humanitarian aid to refugees, monitor the situation, give eyewitness accounts, and secure legal services needed to launch asylum proceedings.

Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek told Deník N that Russia should use its influence over Lukashenko’s regime to force it to stop abusing migration as a way of exerting pressure on EU member states, instead of pointless provocations such as the movement of Russian troops at the border between the EU and Ukraine, which only increases tension.

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