The humanitarian response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - perspectives from the EU and member states

Brussels (location will be shared once your registration is confirmed)

5 December 2022

The International Crisis Group, the Polish Migration Forum Foundation, and the Polish Migration Consortium will hold a meeting on the humanitarian response to the displacement crisis caused by Russia’s full-scale invasion. The event will take place in Brussels on 5 December 2022 and will bring together Brussels-based policymakers and voices from civil society organisations and the private sector that have supported displaced persons and refugees in EU member states bordering Ukraine. Panellists and participants will first look back at the response since February 2022 and ask how well it has worked so far and what gaps it has revealed. They will then narrow down the focus on responses in several EU member states, with specific examples from Poland, as well as the challenges faced by other groups of refugees. The meeting will provide an opportunity to look at lessons learned and discuss how they can be applied to tackle what may prove to be a long-lasting crisis.


13h00-13h30 Registration

13h30-13h45: Welcome remarks

Agnieszka Kosowicz, President of the Board, Polish Migration Forum
Olga Oliker, Program Director Europe and Central Asia, International Crisis Group

13h45-15h00 Session 1: The Humanitarian Situation following Russia’s Aggression on Ukraine

Following Russia’s aggression on Ukraine in February 2022, an estimated 6 million refugees have left Ukraine and 7 million people have been displaced within the country. This session will discuss humanitarian and related responses to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, looking at how the response can be better coordinated between civil society, the state, and international donors.

Simon Schlegel, Senior Analyst Ukraine, International Crisis Group
Mariya Levonova, Policy Analyst, Centre of United Actions, Ukraine
Julia Samokhvalova, Partnership Manager, Norwegian Refugee Council, Ukraine
Cristina Martinez Gallego, Team Leader for Ukraine, Western Balkans and South Caucasus, Humanitarian Desk Ukraine, DG ECHO, European Commission
Moderator: Olga Oliker, Program Director for Europe and Central Asia, International Crisis Group

15h00-15h15 Break

15h15-16h45 Session 2: The Humanitarian situation in EU member states- the case of Poland

Hosting over 3 million Ukrainians, Poland received the largest share of Ukrainian refugees since the beginning of the war. The EU has mobilised substantial financial aid to Poland and provided Ukrainians with extensive temporary protection status. The NGO community and the private sector have also responded swiftly and have had an important role. But the current energy and commodities crisis that threatens European citizens diverts all the attention from the matter, and the much-needed funding barely trickles down to organisations that are needing it on the ground. This session will look back on the successes and gaps of the response in Poland, and try to identify long-lasting solutions for the humanitarian crisis still looming.

Jagoda Zakrzewska, Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager, Google, Poland
Anna Dabrowska, Head of Homo Faber, Poland
Dorota Zmarzlak, Mayor of Izabelin, Poland
Officials from the cities of Warsaw and Poznan to be confirmed
Moderator: Agnieszka Kosowicz, President of the Board, Polish Migration Forum Foundation

16h45-17h00 Break

17h00-18h00 Session 3: Further non-Ukrainian displacement flows

Differentiation in the treatment of different types of refugees, whether they are Ukrainian, Belarussian, Russian, Middle-Eastern and beyond, is also a hot topic of debate. Russia’s call for partial military mobilisation has provoked an exodus of hundreds of thousands of Russians out of Russia, further worsening the humanitarian situation for the host countries. Other nationalities have also suffered, such as Belarussians fleeing Belarus and TCN fleeing Ukraine, in particular - Roma. This session will briefly discuss how the EU, its member states, and the international community can help host countries deal with the incoming influx of refugees.

Hanna Machinska, Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights, Poland
Malgorzata Kolaczek, Deputy director of the Institute of Intercultural Studies of the Jagiellonian University
Lina Vosyliute, Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies Centre for European Policy Studies
Moderator: Witold Klaus, Professor, Centre for Migration Law Research, Polish Academy of Science

18h00-19h00 Networking Drinks


Please register with Lavinia Pletosu, by sending your name and affiliation.

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