UNICEF delivers life-saving supplies in Poland to help families who’ve fled the war in Ukraine

By United Nations Children's Fund

UNICEF delivers life-saving supplies in Poland to help families who’ve fled the war in Ukraine

UNICEF is delivering hygiene and sanitary supplies, first aid kits and life-saving medical equipment to reach more than 350,000 refugees in Poland who have fled the war in Ukraine. The UNICEF Emergency Response Office in Poland, which was set up in the days following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, has also provided educational materials, including pens, notebooks and learning supplies, to benefit 360,000 children, including 17,000 digital devices.

“I have been to many places in Poland and talked to children and families from Ukraine who have left everything behind: their homes, their belongings and even their loved ones. Many need basic help to start life anew,” said Rashed Mustafa, Country Coordinator for UNICEF’s Emergency Response Office in Poland. “Our humanitarian support must continue, and these supplies are so needed, especially in these colder months. Children and families also need support to keep learning and access healthcare and social services.”

10,000 first aid kits, 4,000 institutional hygiene kits (one kit is for 50 people) and 80,000 family hygiene kits (each kit is for a family of four) are currently being delivered by UNICEF. The majority are being distributed in the 12 cities which UNICEF is working in partnership with: Warsaw, Łódź, Białystok, Lublin, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot, Poznań, Wrocław, Kraków, Katowice and Rzeszów. These municipalities are distributing these items to schools, kindergartens, community centres and support hubs. Supplies are also being delivered to collective accommodation centres for refugees and seven Blue Dot support hubs in busy transit areas which are providing critical support to families fleeing the war in Ukraine.

UNICEF has also delivered an ambulance in Rzeszów to the Medical Transit Centre, neonatal care equipment to Bialystok Clinical University and the Institute of Mother and Child, as well as ultrasound machine equipment to a hospital in Lublin. UNICEF have also procured 50,000 polio and 5,000 Hepatitis A vaccines, as well as 50,000 syringes to ensure an uninterrupted supply of essential vaccines amid increased demand.

In addition to the medical, educational and learning materials, UNICEF has delivered early child development kits that promote learning and play to kindergartens and daycare facilities, as well as sports equipment to schools that welcomed learners from Ukraine. Together these supplies will help promote inclusion, bridge learning gaps and support mental health and well-being. 17,000 tablets and laptops will also help children from Ukraine who choose to continue their studies online.

The purchase of these health and education supplies was made possible thanks to generous donations received from both UNICEF’s long-term public sector partners, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the U.S. Department of State, the Government of Japan and the Government of Korea, as well as unprecedented support from private donors.

“Every child has the right to quality education. However, effective learning also requires the right tools,” said Mustafa. “The distribution of educational materials and digital devices is not only beneficial for a child’s education but necessary to build a solid foundation for a better future.”

UNICEF’s education programme in Poland is reaching 480,000 children through formal and non-formal. The organization works with the Ministry of Education and municipalities to ensure Ukrainian children can access the Polish school system, including through language lessons, catch-up classes and employing Ukrainian intercultural assistants. UNICEF is also supporting children studying the Ukrainian curriculum online through 50 Education and Development Hubs, safe spaces where young people can attend online classes, receive help with their homework, interact with peers, join Polish language classes and get mental health support.

The UNICEF Emergency Response Office in Poland was established in record time in March 2022 to support families and help them recover from the war. The organization work with the national and municipal government as well as civil society partners to keep children learning, healthy and safe. From ‘Blue Dot’ safe spaces in busy transit areas to making sure children can go to school and get healthcare, UNICEF support all families taking refuge. UNICEF advocate for the rights of every child in Poland, with a focus on the most vulnerable.

See also: 🔴 LIVE UPDATES | Humanitarian response to Ukraine crisis