Ukrainian Refugees in Neighboring Countries Face Ongoing Struggles

Image credit, Netavisen_Sameksistens_dk

Two years have passed since the conflict in Ukraine forced thousands of individuals to seek refuge in neighboring countries. Yet, despite the passage of time, the challenges faced by Ukrainian refugees in Poland and Moldova remain stark. A recent survey conducted by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) sheds light on the enduring hardships endured by these displaced populations, highlighting the urgent need for increased assistance and support.

The survey, conducted between December 2023 and February 2024, gathered responses from over 1,100 individuals, providing valuable insights into the economic struggles and uncertainties faced by refugees from Ukraine. In Moldova, a staggering 71 percent of respondents rely on humanitarian aid as their primary source of income, with 37 percent unable to meet basic needs despite receiving assistance. Similarly, in Poland, 41 percent of respondents mention insufficient income for themselves and their households.

One of the most concerning findings is the prolonged displacement experienced by many refugees. Fifty-seven percent of respondents in Poland and 48 percent in Moldova have been displaced for over 18 months, facing the daunting challenge of rebuilding their lives in unfamiliar territories. Moreover, 43 percent of respondents in Moldova and 44 percent in Poland express uncertainty about their future, highlighting the pressing need for sustainable solutions to address their plight.

Neil Brighton, NRC’s Country Director in Poland, emphasizes the critical role of targeted support in addressing the diverse needs and vulnerabilities of Ukrainian refugees. He warns against premature and unsafe returns driven by economic desperation, emphasizing the importance of sustained assistance from both governmental and non-governmental entities.

Jacopo Caridi, NRC’s Country Director in Moldova, echoes these concerns, stressing the risk of further hardship if funding drops and vulnerable refugees are left unsupported. As European Union member states and humanitarian agencies convene to discuss the Ukraine Senior Officials Meeting in Brussels, Caridi emphasizes the importance of not forgetting the plight of Ukrainian refugees in neighboring countries.

The survey underscores the urgent need for increased assistance and support for Ukrainian refugees in Poland and Moldova. With a significant percentage of refugees relying on humanitarian aid for income and facing economic insecurity, there is a clear imperative for the international community to step up its efforts in providing sustainable solutions.

NRC urges the international community and donors to collaborate with host country governments and civil society organizations to find durable solutions for the long-term needs of Ukrainian refugees. As funding remains insufficient to cover the humanitarian response plan in both Poland and Moldova, concerted efforts are needed to prevent further hardship and alleviate the suffering of displaced populations.

The survey findings paint a sobering picture of the ongoing struggles faced by Ukrainian refugees in neighboring countries. As the conflict in Ukraine persists, it is imperative that the international community maintains its commitment to supporting those affected by providing essential assistance and working towards durable solutions for their plight.