IRI Gathers Municipal and NGO Representatives in Lublin to Boost Capacity to Respond to Ukraine Displaced Persons Crisis

  • Ludovica Efrati, Romain Le Quiniou

LUBLIN, POLAND-Since the beginning of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, almost eight million displaced Ukrainians have been recorded across Europe. The rapid influx of Ukrainians into frontline countries imposed significant challenges on Polish and Romanian municipalities trying to meet their immediate needs, such as emergency housing, food supplies, and first aid. Furthermore, the widespread destruction of Ukrainian infrastructure places greater strain on these countries to address challenges, which include employment and social integration.

From February 13-14, the Municipality of Lublin offered pivotal support to IRI by co-hosting a workshop with representatives of 10 municipalities from Poland, Romania, and Moldova to discuss the current Ukrainian displaced people crisis. Participants exchanged best practices and lessons learned from the past year on immediate crisis management and long-term challenges. In addition, with the help and participation of attendees, IRI was able to identify areas of potential cooperation, including channeling economic investments in Central and Eastern Europe, better localized action of international NGOs, and improving national legislation on crisis management.

“We are honored and delighted to receive the support of the Municipality of Lublin,” said IRI Resident Program Director for Poland Jason Worlledge. “Cross-border cooperation for frontline countries addressing the Ukraine displaced persons crisis has been, continues to be, and will be fundamental in order to ensure a timely, appropriate, and coordinated response.”

In the next phase of the project, IRI will continue working with municipalities to formulate concrete recommendations to share with key stakeholders in Brussels and Washington, DC. Next month, IRI will engage with a cohort of leaders from smaller municipalities of the same nationalities in Romania for a second roundtable covering similar topics. In June 2023, local representatives and stakeholders will gather in Bucharest to work on the implementation of recommendations identified by municipalities and NGOs to improve crisis management processes and increase their resilience as they approach long-term challenges.

IRI thanks the Municipality of Lublin for its extraordinary hospitality and for sharing lessons learned in dealing with the crisis through the testimonies of municipal staff, citizens, and representatives of NGOs.

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