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Prawa autorskie: Jakub Orzechowski / Agencja Wyborcza.plJakub Orzechowski / ...
15 grudnia 2022

The wave of aid for Ukrainian refugees is tailing off – OKO.press poll shows. But the attitude of Poles is unique

Since March, own involvement in supporting Ukrainian families has decreased from 61 to 40 percent. But contrary to the forecasts of experts, Poles still have a positive attitude towards refugees from Ukraine in their country. Only one group stands out

Wydrukuj

Publikujemy angielskie tłumaczenie tekstu Julii Theus. "Fala pomocy ukraińskim uchodźcom opada - dowodzi sondaż OKO.press. Władza PiS zawiodła", opublikowanego w OKO.press 23 września 2022 r. Dołączyliśmy też do niego wyniki innego pytania sondażowego z września i listopada 2022 r.:Czy gdyby osoby z Ukrainy, które obecnie przebywają w Polsce, miały zostać w Polsce na wiele lat, byłoby to dla Polski dobre czy złe?

JESTEŚMY TU RAZEM

Powoli wyczerpują się zasoby dobrej woli i możliwości pomocy ukraińskim rodzinom, które ratując się przed rosyjską agresją, próbują w Polsce mieszkać, pracować i uczyć się. Państwo nie wspiera już Polek i Polaków, którzy przyjmują uchodźców. Czas na nowo ułożyć relacje i szukać rozwiązań. Chcemy w OKO.press opisywać historie gości z Ukrainy, usłyszeć je od was. Czekamy też na listy polskich pracodawców, gospodarzy, wszystkich osób, które chcą napisać komentarz lub zgłosić pomysł. Piszcie na adres [email protected].

МИ ТУТ РАЗОМ

Поволі вичерпуються ресурси доброї волі та можливості допомоги українським родинам, які, рятуючись від російської агресії, намагаються жити, працювати та навчатися в Польщі. Держава більше не підтримує польок та поляків, які приймають біженців. Настав час заново формувати стосунки та шукати рішення. В OKO.press ми хочемо описати історії гостей з України, почути їх від вас. Також чекаємо на листи від польських роботодавців, господарів та всіх, хто бажає написати коментар чи подати ідею. Пишіть на [email protected].

‘Poles are tired of high prices. They are afraid of the winter. They are no longer accepting refugees in their homes,’ says the head of the Ukrainian House, Myroslava Keryk. Their own commitment to supporting Ukrainian families dropped from 61% to 40% since March. Confederation and PiS voters are helping less than the opposition electorate. Ipsos poll for OKO.press.

Poles surprised the whole world with their commitment to helping refugees from Ukraine. The enthusiasm in the initial days of the war was a tremendous act of solidarity. The public faced up to one of its greatest challenges to date. Aid was widespread – almost everyone was involved.

Now the assistance for the Ukrainian families who fled to Poland to save themselves from the Russian aggression is starting to come to an end. This was to be expected – it is exhausting in the long run and requires a systematic state policy to support the participants of this process.

The PiS authorities have failed this test

After 120 days of war in Ukraine, the government stopped supporting those helping the refugees, the payment of the benefit of PLN 40 per day per person can only be extended in exceptional situations, e.g. for people with disabilities and children aged up to 12 months (we wrote about this here). People counting on further systemic support have been disappointed. This limits the assistance.

Simultaneously, the sanctions on Russia that are being introduced are contributing to rising energy prices, the energy crisis is driving up inflation, rents are increasing. Autumn 2022 has only just begun, while Poles are already concerned about a severe economic crisis that will affect them personally.

As many as 79% of them believe that the crisis will come shortly.

The fear of high prices, the lack of coal and increasing bills takes away the energy and enthusiasm to help Ukrainians. Most people are concerned about their own living conditions.

The unique attitude

The wave of aid for Ukrainian refugees is tailing off, but there is still great enthusiasm for the presence of refugees in Poland. And the conflicts that we ourselves feared are not escalating. Month since the beginning of the war in Ukraine we believed that after a period of enthusiasm, Polish-Ukrainian tensions would begin.

We surprised ourselves.

In the latest Ipsos poll for OKO.press, we asked what Poles think about the future of a country where a large number of refugees will live. Would they like them to stay in Poland for many years? Would it be good or bad for the country?

The largest number of respondents think that it will be good for Poland (definitely good – 17%, rather good – 52%.). Together it is 69 %. Only 25 % thinks that it will be "rather bad" (18%) or "definitely bad" (7%) for the country.

This is the third time we asked the question, which was previously asked in the May 2022 poll. This enables us to compare attitudes:

The result is almost identical, the shift in attitudes is not statistically significant. In May, the answer "good for Poland" was chosen by 67%, now 69% percent, and wrong - in May 24%, now 25%.

Poles still thinks that "this is good"

In the last two months, the result has changed slightly for… better.

In September, 65% chose „good”, and in November as much as 69%. On the other hand, a longer stay of Ukrainians in Poland was negatively assessed by 25% in November, and 27% in September (the result is almost the same).

This means that despite the crisis, we still approve of the presence of Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

This is an unique attitude compared to other Central and Eastern European countries, where the friendly atmosphere of welcoming refugees is weakening. The support that refugees receive from the government is met with increasing criticism in Bulgaria, Slovakia and Hungary.

Aversion to refugees is growing in the Czech Republic. At the beginning of September 2022, 100,000 people gathered in the center of Prague. At the anti-government protest, people chanted „take down that flag”, pointing to the flag of Ukraine flying over Wenceslas Square.

Aversion to refugees is growing in the Czech Republic. At the beginning of September 2022, 100,000 people gathered in the center of Prague. At the anti-government protest, people chanted "take down that flag", pointing to the flag of Ukraine flying over Wenceslas Square.

A month later, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the city again.

Meanwhile, Polish acceptance of refugees continues and does not change over time.

The wave of aid is tailing off

Who is still taking part in the relief efforts, despite the difficulties, six months after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine? We asked Poles about this in the September Ipsos poll for OKO.press.

40% of respondents declared that they are personally involved in providing aid, while 32% have someone in their family who is still helping the refugees. The largest number of respondents – 41% – has a close friend or acquaintance who supports Ukrainians.

This is the second time we asked the question, which was previously asked in the March 2022 poll. This enables us to compare attitudes:

Who is involved in helping Ukrainian refugees six months after the outbreak of war?

In the early days of the war in Ukraine, personal involvement in relief efforts was declared by as many as 61% of respondents. This is a huge percentage. Six months later, the wave of aid is tailing off – involvement in aid efforts is 21 percentage points lower.

Six months ago, only 18% of respondents declared that neither they themselves nor anyone close to them helped Ukrainians. This number has almost doubled to 33%.

These are big differences, especially as it is still socially approved to help (it is embarrassing to admit not doing anything for the refugees).

Support for the refugees is changing its form and declining

Myroslava Keryk, head of the Ukrainian House Foundation, historian, sociologist, expert on migration and the Ukrainian community in Poland, comments on the results of the poll for OKO.press. ‘The aid that is tailing off can be seen especially among the donors. Increasingly fewer people are bringing clothes, hygiene products and food with a long shelf life. Successive aid centres are closing.’

Meanwhile, more than 6.2 million people have been recorded as having entered Poland since the start of the war in Ukraine. The Polish-Ukrainian border is still being crossed by approximately 20,000 refugees a day. However, the traffic is bidirectional. 4.5 million trips to Ukraine have been counted since 24 February 2022. The balance of the border traffic is therefore 1.7 million. This does not necessarily mean that so many ‘net’ Ukrainians have arrived in Poland, as the same people travel in both directions. And they still need assistance.

Even if Ukrainian women — women with children predominate among the refugees — have managed to find work despite the language barrier and lack of childcare, they earn so little that they cannot afford to rent their own accommodation and support their families.

‘Increasingly fewer people are accepting refugees into their homes. However, I see that they still keep in touch with the families who used to live with them. They help them find work and Polish language courses,’ says Keryk.

The aid is therefore declining and simultaneously changing its form. Poles are starting to support Ukrainian women in a less ad hoc way. They are helping them start an independent life in their new country.

Women are marginally more helpful

Women are more involved in helping refugees than men. Statistically, more women see their circle of close friends or acquaintances as being supportive of the needy – 44%, whereas among men, this is only 37%. Simultaneously , more men (36%) than women (30%) declare that they do not help at all.

Women aged 40–59 are still showing the greatest concern for the fate of others. Older men help the least. As many as 44% of them are not involved in supporting Ukrainians at all. And do not know anyone among their family and friends who is.

Interestingly, fewer women aged 18–39 (35%) take part in relief efforts than men (43%). However, most of them declare that a close friend or acquaintance helps refugees.

Wealthy with the greatest opportunities to help

Some kind-hearted people do not help, while others who can afford it put up money from their own pockets.

‘The end of aid is mainly influenced by inflation and high prices. People are tired of the increasing cost of living. They are afraid of the winter,’ says Keryk.

It is probably because of this that most of those who earn more than PLN 7,000 per month per person in the family – nearly half of them (46%) – declare that they take part in relief efforts. It is understandable that wealthier people – especially as state support is ending – help more. They have more funds to do this. The stereotype of rich people focusing solely on their own business is not confirmed.

People with incomes of between PLN 2,500 and PLN 4,500 are positively surprising. They are almost as committed to helping as the wealthier people (44%). Despite the lower incomes, they are able to share housing, clothes, food and their time with the Ukrainians.

It can be seen that assistance increases with qualifications. The largest number of people who are personally involved have degrees – as many as 46% of respondents. More than half of them have a close friend or acquaintance who takes part in relief efforts.

Poles with primary and vocational qualifications help the least.

Right-wing voters help the least

Differences in involvement in relief efforts can also be seen among party voters. The more right-wing the views, the less help is given. Only 23% of Confederation voters are involved after six months of the war. This is a dismal result. And a response to the xenophobic views of the party leaders and the 'Stop Ukrainianization of Poland' project.

In second place in terms of not helping are PiS voters – 35%. This is, to some extent, a reflection of the social characteristics of these voters – a relatively large proportion of less well educated and poorer people.

Szymon Hołownia’s voters have the greatest amount of solidarity with Ukraine – 51% of Poland 2050 voters, just like the Civic Coalition voters – 49%. Supporters of the Left have the most contacts and see the most help around them.

Housing is an insurmountable barrier

In March 2022, rural areas even turned out to be slightly better than the urban areas in the aid ranking: as many as 65% of residents declared that they participated in helping refugees. The extent to which even the smallest villages were involved in relief at the start of the war in Ukraine is surprising.

After six months, rural areas are decidedly losing out to urban areas. Involvement in smaller villages has dropped to 39%, whereas it is as high as 51% in the largest cities.

‘Refugees are coming to us with more serious problems than at the beginning of the war. They need help in dealing with official matters and finding work. But the biggest problem they have is finding accommodation,’ says Keryk. ‘This is a problem because prices have increased and people from Ukraine cannot afford to pay the deposit to rent a flat. This is an insurmountable barrier. Many people who are now in Poland cannot return to Ukraine because the war is being fought in the regions where they come from. Poland should intervene. Cooperation between central and local government and the preparation of solutions with accommodation is essential. This problem will increase, especially in winter’.

* Ipsos poll for OKO.press, 6–8 September 2022, telephone survey (CATI) on a representative sample of adult Poles, sample size 1009 people.

Udostępnij:

Julia Theus

Dziennikarka, pracowała w „Gazecie Wyborczej” i Wirtualnej Polsce. W OKO.press od 2021 roku, absolwentka Filologii Polskiej na Uniwersytecie im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu, stypendystka nauk humanistycznych i społecznych na Sorbonie IV w Paryżu (Université Paris Sorbonne IV).

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