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Poles donate over EUR 2 bn to help Ukraine: report

Approximately PLN 10 bn (EUR 2.09 bn) was the estimated value of private spending by Poles to help refugees from Ukraine in the first months of the war, according to a report by the Polish Economic Institute (PIE). Some 70 percent of Poles participated in aid activities.

“The estimated value of the total annual expenditures of the public authorities to help refugees together with the amount of private expenditures of Poles incurred for this purpose only during the first three months of the war equalled to a total of PLN 25.4 bn (EUR 5.30 bn),” PIE’s head Piotr Arak, quoted in the report, pointed out, adding that the amount corresponds to 0.97 percent of Polish GDP in 2021.

Moreover, as reported by the institute, some 70 percent of adult Poles participated in aid activities in the first months, and approximately half of them were involved in helping refugees on a consistent basis. However, the authors of the report pointed out that the number of people actively involved in helping the refugees has decreased over time to 57 percent at the end of April and the beginning of May.

7⃣0⃣% of Poles got involved in helping refugees.
Private spending may have reached EUR 2⃣,1⃣4⃣ billion.
Total value of help assigned by the 🇵🇱 authorities and provided by citizens in the first 3 months of the war amounted to almost 1% of Poland's GDP.

— Polski Instytut Ekonomiczny (@PIE_NET_PL) July 27, 2022

As indicated by Agnieszka Wincewicz-Price, the institute’s expert, the most popular forms of support were in-kind aid and cash transfers. PIE reported that 59 percent of respondents were involved in buying needed items and 53 percent were donating money to refugees.

It was also pointed out that Polish society’s assistance in the first days and weeks of the war had not only a material dimension, but also a largely symbolic one, as in many cases it preceded institutional assistance and significantly influenced the formation of public opinion in other countries.

The experts pointed out that in the next stage of integration, it would be necessary to ensure social cohesion, to bridge social tensions between the new immigrants and Polish society, and enable smooth integration in schools, public institutions, workplaces and wherever there is intensive contact between refugees and Polish citizens.

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