A delegation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe visited Poland from 4-5 July to gather experiences from Polish cities hosting Ukrainian refugees. Poland has received more Ukrainian refugees than any other member state, more than 90% of whom are women and children. The delegation met a wide range of stakeholders and visited temporary accommodation centres in Warsaw and Lublin. It will prepare a report for the Congress.
“Cities and regions are on the frontline; they can react quickly and adapt to the real needs of women and children on the ground. Over these two days, we saw how strong local government in cooperation with active civil society really does make the difference,” said rapporteurs Bernd Vöhringer and Annika Vaikla.
“We were very impressed with how well local NGOs and local administrations worked together to protect vulnerable people. Building trust between civil society and local authorities takes time and effort, but it is crucial in situations like these.” added Thomas Andersson, Chair of the Current Affairs Committee, who led the delegation.
“Polish Cities have shown determination and commitment to face this challenge. We witnessed their efforts to provide not only a temporary home, but also support and psychological help to Ukrainian women and children,” concluded the delegation.
Local and regional authorities across Europe need support and guidance to ensure that every woman and child refugee - regardless of their background or country of origin - can be safely received in Europe’s towns, cities and regions. This is the aim of the report on “the reception of women and children refugees in Europe’s cities and regions” that will be presented for adoption at the 43rd session of Congress in October 2022.