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CORE and UNHCR Collaborate to Address Shelter Needs for Ukrainian Refugees in Poland
Since October 2022, CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) has teamed up with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to provide people fleeing Ukraine access to protection and emergency assistance through a coordinated and inclusive humanitarian response.
Lack of sufficient short- to mid-term shelter as part of contingency planning to address the ongoing influx of refugees has prompted concern among humanitarian actors in the region. The need for insulated accommodation for individuals and their families fleeing conflict only intensifies during winter. Supported by UNHCR, and in close collaboration with Polish authorities, CORE undertook reconstruction works of four public buildings in Radymno, Krosno, Przemysl, and Medyka.
Works undertaken included the installation of heavy-duty thermal insulation doors, installation and insulation of windows, setting up photovoltaic panels, internal and external roof insulation using natural materials, and maintenance or replacement of central heating equipment (i.e., radiators and pipes). These essential works ensure that refugee families in search of safety can live in dignified, secure, and comfortable conditions.
“Ensuring that refugees forced to flee from Ukraine in the winter have a warm place to stay is a top priority,” said Kevin Allen, UNHCR Representative in Poland. “The Polish authorities and local communities have demonstrated remarkable solidarity to achieve this — including in reception centers when refugees first arrive — and we are pleased to support these efforts.”
As a result of the project, the premises do not only have better insulation but also increased their reception capacity and can now accommodate up to 1,384 people.
“CORE is proud to partner with UNHCR to support Ukrainian refugees in Poland,” said Jan Willaert, Regional Director of CORE Ukraine Response. “Through the first three months of the partnership, we were able to significantly enhance the capacity of municipalities in the Podkarpackie region to provide safe and dignified living conditions for Ukrainians. Recognizing the need for further response, we continue to implement assistance projects in cooperation with UNHCR and municipalities in 2023 to help those in need.”
To further support refugees from Ukraine settled in Podkarpackie, UNHCR and CORE also recently distributed more than 750 winter jackets and enrolled more than 2,550 vulnerable refugees in UNHCR’s cash assistance programs, including through mobile teams reaching out to families living in remote areas.
Through these essential services, CORE, UNHCR, and local partners in Poland provide protection and critical aid for refugees from Ukraine who are still in dire need of support as the war continues.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. UNHCR leads international action to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. UNHCR delivers life-saving assistance, helps safeguard fundamental human rights, and develops solutions that ensure people have a safe place called home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality. UNHCR is present in over 130 countries, using its expertise to protect and care for millions.
Founded by Sean Penn and Ann Lee, CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) is a global crisis response organization that brings immediate aid and long-term recovery solutions to underserved communities. When a crisis strikes, CORE responds immediately to fill gaps, mobilize resources, and establish trust and collaboration from within communities. CORE has played a pivotal role in providing critical relief to marginalized and vulnerable populations since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine as it continues its mission of empowering communities in and beyond crisis around the world. More information: www.coreresponse.org and follow CORE on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.