“We have to be ready,” Rafal Trajaskowski told ABC News.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poland has accepted 300,000 Ukrainian refugees, according to Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trajaskowski.
Although Trajaskowski told Davis on ABC News on Tuesday that the city and its residents have welcomed the families and are doing their best to meet their needs, they are still facing increasing challenges with the arrival of refugees.
“We welcome those who need help, but if there is pressure on government services, schools, [and] Health system [becomes] Huge, solidarity could decline in a few weeks, ”the mayor told ABC News.
While the number of refugees is expected to rise as the conflict continues, Trojaskovsky is urging world leaders to help with the refugee effort.
As of March 29, more than 4 million Ukrainians had fled to nearby countries to escape the war, according to the United Nations. Poland has a majority of those citizens, 2.3 million, according to the United Nations
Trojaskovsky says his city’s refugee response has been “improved” as local governments, regular citizens and organizations have come together to help thousands of families.
Ukrainian citizens have been given free education and access to free healthcare in Poland, and according to the mayor, 13,000 Ukrainian children are already attending school in Warsaw.
“It’s a huge financial challenge, but you know, we have to organize it,” said Trajaskowski.
He added that the city’s social workers were overburdened with the difficult task of registering more than 300,000 people with Polish social service organizations and programs.
“So now I’m thinking of how to get more people to do this as soon as possible,” he said.
Mayor Tweeted Monday The European Union has been called upon to provide more investment and staff support and direct support to the city’s refugee assistance efforts.
“We need a system because we don’t know [if] Maybe we’re going to get another wave of refugees in just a week or two. We have to be ready, ”he said.
World leaders have recently pledged to help a growing number of families fleeing Ukraine.
Last week, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would accept 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and that other countries, such as Canada, had promised to accept them.
Trzaskowski said he was hopeful that more countries and the United Nations would step up their efforts and reduce some of the burden on his country, but in the meantime he promised that his citizens would continue to welcome refugees as one of their own.
“The Ukrainians are among us but they are with us. They are not marginalized in the society. They are in our house. They are participating in our life and that is the beauty of it,” he said.