According to data published by the Kiel Institute, Poland bears the highest costs of aid to Ukraine in relation to GDP. The OECD also draws attention to the scale of Polish aid – according to the information collected by this institution, Poland allocated EUR 8.36 billion (approx. 1.5% of Polish GDP) for humanitarian aid for refugees from Ukraine in 2022, becoming the largest donor for Ukrainian refugees in Europe.
Poland also accepted the largest number of refugees from Ukraine. According to UNHCR data, the number of refugees from Ukraine with refugee status in Poland exceeded 1.55 million. The sum of the costs of the Government Agency of Strategic Reserves spent on all activities to help Ukraine and Ukrainians in Poland reached PLN 1,475 million.
Poland undertakes not only ad hoc and short-term aid activities, but also engages in long-term projects, including aimed at rebuilding and modernizing Ukrainian cities that were destroyed as a result of Russian aggression. In addition, it provides support to Ukrainian rescue services and medical services, also in the field of mental health assistance to the war-affected population.
Polish aid also includes the organization of various types of vocational training for the future reconstruction of the country. Scholarship assistance remains an important element of development cooperation with Ukraine. Ukrainian students remain the largest group among foreign students at Polish universities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs finances scholarships for Ukrainian citizens under the Scholarship Program named after Banach and education at the College of Europe in Natolin. The Ministry of Education and Science has launched assistance for refugees from Ukraine who are representatives of the academic community, also in the form of a new scholarship program “Solidarity with Ukraine”.
In July 2022, the National Science Center (NCN) announced a special scholarship program aimed at Ukrainian students and researchers before their doctorate. The list of winners then included 15 female researchers and 7 researchers from 14 different universities and research units. Now this group will be expanded by another 18 people. Earlier, 111 scientists benefited from the programs prepared by the National Science Center for researchers seeking shelter in Poland as a result of the war in Ukraine. The aim of the program is to create opportunities to continue studies, work on a master’s thesis or a doctoral dissertation, or pursue other forms of education in Polish centres. Scholarships will last from 6 to 12 months. The maximum amount of funding that could be applied for in this competition is PLN 5,000 per month for one student or scientist. The budget of the competition was originally PLN 1.2 million. The granting of further scholarships was possible thanks to the donors’ allocation of an additional amount of EUR 215,000 to finance them.