Jesuit Missions 11 Edge Hill ,
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Supporting Ukrainian Refugees

  • 10 March 2022

Jesuit Missions is responding to the crisis in Ukraine

After six days of conflict in Ukraine, UNHCR estimates that nearly 875,000 refugees have already crossed the border in search of shelter in the surrounding countries. Since the beginning of the crisis, the humanitarian and international cooperation organizations of the Society of Jesus have been in contact with the Jesuit network in order to coordinate a possible humanitarian emergency.

The Society of Jesus in Ukraine is part of the Southern Poland Province and is present in Lviv, Kiev, Khmelnytsky and Chernivtsi. With 12 Jesuits in the country, the Society runs two residences, two parishes, a retreat house, and a house for refugees. One of the Jesuits is a military chaplain.

At first, work is expected both inside Ukraine to support Internal displaced people (IDP), as well as in countries that are receiving refugee populations: Poland, Romania and Hungary, and in a second line, if necessary, responses are being prepared from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia.

On Saturday, the Polish Provinces called on the Jesuits of its territory to be ready to welcome refugees from Ukraine in all their houses. The communities of Slovakia are also ready to receive refugees. The Provinces of Poland (PMA and PME), Slovakia (SVK), and Hungary (HUN) have appointed coordinators for this emergency who are already coordinating with the the Xavier Network [of which Jesuit Missions is a member].

Focus of the SJ community inside Ukraine until now has been to provide shelters, which are now mostly used by IDPs on the move who leave the country.

Action in neighboring countries such as Poland, Romania, Hungary or the wider South East Europe countries will focus on renting houses as refugee accommodation bases. It will also imply the renting of warehouses for storing food and non-food-items, renting vehicles to transport people and food/NFI items, collaborate with open information and food distribution centers at the border, provide individual housing rental assistance, legal and administrative assistance, psychological assistance to refugees, medical escorts to health facilities, and to undertake advocacy and monitoring missions at borders to provide support to asylum seekers.

Report from Society of Jesus Communications 

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