By John Ikani
The Government of Poland has accommodated no fewer than two thousand Nigerians fleeing the Russia-Ukraine War.
This was made known in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Embassy of Poland in Nigeria titled: “Poland stands with Ukraine – the spirit of Polish solidarity reborn.”
According to the statement, “Since February 24, Poland opened its borders to over two million people fleeing Ukraine from the Russian aggression. Although most refugees are obviously Ukrainian, there are also thousands of third-country nationals who found shelter in Poland. Polish authorities let in everyone irrespective of nationality, race or creed. Many of those who crossed the Ukrainian-Polish border were African nationals, including more than two thousand Nigerians.
“The government of Poland went to great lengths and undertook every effort to ensure all refugees received meaningful, effective and comprehensive assistance. Meals were distributed at border crossings, transport was provided to receptive points where further assistance and help were provided by local government authorities. Moreover, country legislation was amended to cater for the needs of refugees and facilitate the provision of assistance.”
It went on to note that “accommodation places were created by the government and local governments, but a large number of refugees are hosted in Poles’ private houses. As more and more people arrive the number of those willing to help are not decreasing. On the contrary, the assistance given by regular Polish citizens is becoming more effective and structured, sensitive to the changing needs of the refugees. It is worth mentioning that Polish citizens created special assistance platforms dedicated exclusively to assisting African nationals, a large percentage of whom are Nigerians. The support offered includes, for instance, finding accommodation, translation services and free of charge legal assistance for those wishing to remain in Poland.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is impacting all corners of the globe as people rush to leave the country.
More than 14,000 Nigerian nationals were known to be in Ukraine.
While over 2,000 Nigerians, mostly student have been evacuated from the country by the Nigerian government, others have sought refuge in neighbouring European countries.