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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

60,000 Ukrainian war refugees take jobs in Poland: officials

13.04.2022 19:00
Some 60,000 refugees from war-torn Ukraine have already taken up employment in Poland, officials announced on Wednesday.
The Polish governments commissioner for refugees from Ukraine, Paweł Szefernaker, speaks at a news conference in Warsaw on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
The Polish government's commissioner for refugees from Ukraine, Paweł Szefernaker, speaks at a news conference in Warsaw on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.Twitter/Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration

The latest figures showing the situation of war refugees in Poland were released by Deputy Interior Minister Paweł Szefernaker, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

60,000 refugees start jobs

Szefernaker told a media briefing: “According to data from employers, around 60,000 people from Ukraine have started jobs in Poland under the new law on support for Ukrainian refugees.”

He added: “This figure is growing - more and more people are starting jobs."

Szefernaker told reporters that many other Ukrainians have taken up employment in Poland on the basis of work permits issued before the war. 

846,000 refugees get Polish ID numbers

Meanwhile, by 1 p.m. on Wednesday, 846,000 refugees had received their personal ID numbers, Szefernaker announced.

These numbers, called PESEL, are needed to gain access to public services and enter into commercial agreements, such as housing lease, officials said.

Ninety-six percent of those who received their PESEL number are women and children, Szefernaker told reporters.

Schools prepare for new academic year

Szefernaker, who is the government’s commissioner for refugees from Ukraine, said that a key challenge was now to prepare Poland’s education system for the continuing influx of schoolchildren from Ukraine.

He said the Cabinet would work with local governments in the coming weeks “to improve the education system and adjust it to the number of school students who have arrived and will continue to arrive from east of the border."

The aim is for the educational institutions, from nurseries to schools, to be ready for the next academic year on September 1, Szefernaker said.

Refugee wave subsides

He told reporters that between 20,000 and 30,000 refugees were now entering Poland from Ukraine every day, compared with 140,000 per day "at the height of the Russian invasion" in early March.

“The situation is stable,” Szefernaker said, adding that there were instances of refugee families returning to their homes in western Ukraine, given the region’s “relative safety.” 

‘EU must allocate new funds’

Szefernaker told the news conference that Poland needed "additional funds for refugee support" from the European Union.

He argued that “during the 2015-2016 refugee crisis, Turkey received help to the tune of EUR 6 billion.”

“And so today it is us who need additional resources, not for Poland, but simply to help Ukraine,” Szefernaker said.

Meanwhile, the European Commission currently has no plans to release new funds for member countries that welcome refugees from Ukraine, officials told reporters.

"We need additional funds to help refugees,” Szefernaker reiterated.

Wednesday was day 49 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Poland on Wednesday reported it had welcomed 2.7 million refugees fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda last month signed into law a measure to offer wide-ranging support to Ukrainians escaping the Russian invasion of their country, which began on February 24.

The measure grants them legal residence in Poland and ensures access to education, healthcare and social benefits.

(pm/gs)

Source: IAR, PAP