No need Irish public urged to stop sending items to Ukraine as aid organisations ‘overwhelmed’
"If you want to help, try to organise on the ground welcoming packages for people and talk to your local authorities and the government about organising a long-term resettlement plan and bringing people from Poland into Ireland.”
Members of the public are being urged to stop sending physical items to humanitarian organisations on the Ukraine border, and instead to make welcome packs for Ukrainian people arriving in Ireland.
Integration Manager at the Immigration Council of Ireland Teresa Buczkowska is assisting with the humanitarian effort in Poland.
She said aid organisations on the ground have received more donations of clothes, nappies and other products than are needed.
“Please stop sending donation items because the reception centres are overwhelmed,” she said.
“We don’t need any physical donations like clothes or nappies, that’s all sorted. If you want to help, try to organise on the ground welcoming packages for people and talk to your local authorities and the government about organising a long-term resettlement plan and bringing people from Poland into Ireland.”
Ms Buczkowska told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme that most Ukrainian migrants in Poland still believe the war will end soon and they are reluctant to travel too far from their homeland.
“People don’t really want to go further than Poland. They expect that they will be able to go back home in the next couple of days and we all know that’s not going to happen.”
She said the people who are arriving in Poland now are “much more vulnerable” and are arriving with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
Ms Buczkowska said the Irish government must gain a better understanding of what is happening in places like Poland, so proper plans can be put in place for refugees arriving here.
“I think the government needs to be more aware what is happening on the ground in Poland, what are the needs, and then draft the reception plans in Ireland.
“Without knowing what is happening in Poland, I don’t know how we can design appropriate responses.”
Ms Buczkowska said there is also a growing number of unaccompanied minors arriving in Poland now and work is continuing to establish a more robust registration system for them.
She added that children with additional needs are particularly at risk and Ireland is in a better position to offer support to them than countries like Poland for example.
“I think Ireland needs to start acting now. Resettlement long-term plan is the key here and I think helping vulnerable should be one of the priorities for the Irish government,” she said.
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