Although the Russian army has slowed down a bit, civilian targets, including the hospital in Mariupol, are being fired on tonight. People are dying all the time. The aggressor uses the technique of cutting off the population from water, food and information supplies. Ukrainians are trying at all costs to strengthen the defense of Kiev.
There is activity on the diplomatic front of the European Union and the USA, but there are also cracks visible. Today, US Vice President Camala Harris is visiting Poland.
In Poland, in all major cities, such as: Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, aid is being carried out on many fronts. The first difficulties also appear. The capacity of cities is limited and soon some places will run out of vacancies.
Yesterday (March 9), the Sejm debated a special act on assistance to refugees from Ukraine. Yesterday the Sejm debated it. Today, the Senate is to focus on it.
Refugees are flowing to Poland in an uninterrupted stream. Today there are over 1,300,000 refugees in Poland. Until recently, the target number was supposed to be 4 million, yesterday there was already talk of five million. This is a huge material burden for Polish society, but also a logistical challenge for the administrative services.
The following solutions are proposed in the act processed by the Polish Parliament (Sejm and Senate):
- Pursuant to the regulations, the document guarantees refugees legal stay for a period of 18 months with the possibility of extending it up to a maximum of three years.
- Anyone who declares their will to stay in our country will obtain a PESEL number (personal identification number, issued to all citizens and residents — ed.), which will allow them to use a number of public services, including health care.
- The number holders will be able to work in various sectors of the economy, including medical professions and education, the latter being wide open to the refugee children.
The act also proposes tax regulations for newcomers, providing assistance to people who provide accommodation and meals at their home. 40 zlotys ($10) a day is proposed per person.
For now, a two-month trial period is considered. The Social Services Agency has launched a special helpline with translators. Integration classes are launched in schools with the support of teacher-interpreters.
How long this will all take is hard to say. The refugees themselves do not know this. The end of the war is not yet in sight.