On the anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, Wednesday 24 August 2022, the two-day online conference “Six month after – the Ukraine war and the situation of refugees in Europe” ended with an urgent appeal: “The commitment cannot only come “from below and grassroots “, but it urgently needs structural support and professionalisation.” The participants noted that aid for refugees is largely provided by private initiatives. Many supporters, they concluded, are at the edge of their endurance. However, many refugees continue to need medical and psychosocial support, especially for the upcoming winter.
It is estimated that one third of the Ukrainian population has been displaced. According to the European Parliament, more than 5.6 million refugees have been registered across Europe as of 6 July 2022. Around 90 per cent of them are women and children. “Some of the refugees are in an extremely precarious situation,” explained Hildegard Azimi-Boedecker, head of the International Career and Migration Department at the Internationales Bildungs- und Begegnungswerk e. V. in Dortmund. Only few information does exist about how people with disabilities, injuries and mental illnesses are doing because most host countries have refrained from explicitly registering vulnerability. “With our conference, we want to take a look across the borders and make a contribution so that bad practice is not repeated and good practice finds imitation.”
Reports from seven countries
IBB e.V. invited speakers from Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Moldova, Italy and Germany to a cooperation meeting at the virtual conference table as part of the netcoops project. Among the 40 listeners were not only full-time and voluntary workers from social services, but also many people involved in the asylum procedure from public authorities, who also wanted to find out about cross-border needs for help.
The online conference in the framework of the netcoops project was financially supported by the European Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).