The war in Ukraine and the Russian invasion of the country is forcing millions of Ukrainian citizens to flee their homes in search of refuge. The latest data collected by the UN - the United Nations World Organisation - confirms that more than 3.9 million people have crossed the borders into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Moldova, Romania and some others. The situation is so serious that these countries have been overwhelmed and have had to call on the European Union to help them cope with the influx of Ukrainians.
Both Nancy Weiser, Germany's Interior Minister, and Mariusz Kaminsky, Poland's Interior Minister, have made an urgent appeal to the European Commission to contain the influx of refugees into their respective countries. The two ministers sent a joint letter to European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and another to European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.
The document asks Europe to provide them with substantial financial support to cope with this massive influx of people, as well as a preferential majority monetary distribution compared to other countries in the European organisation that are not receiving the same number of Ukrainians.
The ministers propose that the UNHCR and the Commission provide an amount of 1,000 euros for each refugee, which would be spent mainly on housing these people. With this aid, the executives stress that it would create a better coordination of the situation, as both Germany and Poland are being severely affected and their resources are running out faster with more and more refugees coming in. They have also added that they require assistance in identifying those who travel without documents to the countries' borders.
"Our ministries and shelter capacity will not be sufficient to cope with the massive influx of people," Weiser and Kaminsky recalled. "Our financial needs are estimated at several billion euros, so additional support is urgently required," the ministers continued in the letter.
The war in Ukraine is only a month old, and the Polish minister points out that Poland has received more than two million people who have fled the conflict. In the German case, the German Interior Ministry claims to have received almost 267,000 Ukrainians. Weiser states that efforts are being made to distribute aid to them, but that this is proving impossible and resources will become scarce if they are not helped. The Polish Interior Ministry has estimated the costs of dealing with the conflict to be at least 2.2 billion euros.
For its part, the EU is trying to respond to the situation as quickly as possible. Interior ministers from all EU member states are holding consultations in Brussels to find a solution on how to deal with the Ukrainian refugees.
In addition, both Europe and Canada are working together on the problem and have announced that an international fundraising campaign will be launched. It will end on 9 April with a conference to discuss how to allocate the money raised in a fair and orderly way.
"The campaign seeks to mobilise governments, institutions, artists, businesses and individuals to allocate funds to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and neighbouring countries," confirmed a press release signed by Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, and Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission.
The United States is also joining the cause, and has already pledged to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees leaving their homes. The US Congress has just approved a $13.6 billion budget that will go exclusively to the Ukrainians, as well as military aid and arms shipments for those defending their homeland.