Where We Work


War in Ukraine

We're helping civilians affected by conflict

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, more than half of Ukraine’s 6 million refugees crossed the border into Poland. Today, the country hosts nearly 1 million refugees.

Within a week of the invasion, International Medical Corps deployed an emergency response team to Poland. We’ve been providing much-needed humanitarian assistance ever since.

In the initial months of response, we delivered urgently needed services at border crossings and reception centers, and coordinated response activities. We provided healthcare, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response programs, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services throughout 2022 and 2023.

Today, through partnerships with local organizations and health facilities, we’re continuing to provide MHPSS services and other kinds of assistance to Ukrainian refugees and vulnerable members of the host community.


38.7 million

Ukrainian Refugees


Roma-Ukrainian Refugees



The Challenges


In 2022, large numbers of refugees leaving Ukraine meant a surge in healthcare needs at Poland’s border crossings.

Mental Health

After being forced to leave behind their homes and loved ones, many Ukrainian refugees still need mental health and psychosocial support.


Ukrainian refugees can face discrimination and cultural and bureaucratic barriers, which make it harder to adapt to life in Poland.

Our Response

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

Because many Ukrainian refugees in Poland have experienced sustained stress, we provide comprehensive MHPSS programming that improves mental health and psychological well-being, with a special focus on helping vulnerable groups such as women and children.

We are implementing a stepped-care program developed by the World Health Organization that uses interventions proven to create acceptable, feasible, safe and effective mental health outcomes in highly exposed populations. These evidence-based interventions include Problem Management Plus (PM+) and Self-Help Plus (SH+), which provide holistic support and nurture resilience within vulnerable populations.

Support for People with Disabilities

Refugees living with disabilities face considerable barriers to adjusting to new lives in another country. In Poland, we have helped a local partner organization extend its existing disability services to Ukrainian refugees by operating a free helpline in both languages. This enables refugees across Poland to receive practical information about financial and material support services, legal counseling, psychological counseling and other available resources.

We have helped provide assistive devices and specialized supplies to refugees with disabilities, including wheelchairs, walkers, specialized educational supplies (such as books in Braille), and orthopedic and medical supplies.

To support the integration of Ukrainian refugees with disabilities, International Medical Corps and our partner organization provide educational and cultural programs about Poland. These include educational trips that facilitate a child-friendly environment where children with disabilities and their caregivers can establish new social support networks and become familiarized with Polish culture. We also help organize Polish language courses for Ukrainian refugees with disabilities.

Support for Ukrainian-Roma Refugees

Recognizing the unique vulnerabilities of Roma refugees from Ukraine, we support a Roma organization in its efforts to expand its services to help Roma refugees get identification materials in Poland, receive refugee-specific subsidies, access medical services and more.

To ensure that Ukrainian-Roma people can access the services available to refugees in Poland, we support the operation of a helpline where Roma people can receive practical advice and be connected directly with resources. We also help provide translation and intercultural communication support at public institutions, such as hospitals and government offices.

Because many people in this community need financial assistance, we distribute vouchers for the purchase of food, hygiene items, household items and clothes. This program prioritizes Ukrainian-Roma refugees, but it also benefits other members of the Roma community in Poland who need it.

Adapting to Poland’s education system poses challenges for Ukrainian-Roma refugees who face language barriers and discrimination, among other obstacles. With our partner organization, we support cultural assistants who help Roma children and parents integrate into the Polish education system. These efforts include assistance with the bureaucratic processes involved in enrolling children in school—such as completing application forms—and translation services. Cultural assistants also provide awareness-raising activities aimed both at helping Roma refugees understand the Polish education system and at improving school staff’s cultural awareness of the Roma community.

To address discrimination, we’re helping cultural assistants lead workshops for members of the Roma community about intercultural communication and coping with stereotypes, giving them the tools they need to cope with and stand against discrimination in Poland. These workshops, held in urban areas around the country, have proven effective in changing behaviors in Roma communities and wider Polish society. We also are working with our partner to provide leadership and self-advocacy workshops to Roma women, focusing on their rights and self-advocacy.

Our Impact (February 2022–February 2024)

pieces of medical equipment and supplies provided to health facilities
refugees reached with health-related services
people reached through mental health consultations and psychosocial support services

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who are the Ukrainian refugees in Poland?

    Out of the 953,000 Ukrainian refugees who are registered for temporary protection in Poland, the majority are women and children. This is because Ukraine banned men aged 18–60 from leaving the country unless they had a special exemption—although some have managed to leave despite this. As of May 2024, women aged 18–59 comprise 38% of the refugees, while another 38% are children who are 17 or younger. It is estimated that about 50,000 Ukrainian refugees are from the Roma community.

  • Why have so many Ukrainian refugees traveled to Poland?

    Shortly after the Russian invasion of February 2022, neighboring Poland opened its borders to Ukrainian refugees. The country passed a special law giving legal protections for refugees until June 2024. The law also introduced assistance measures such as financial aid and assistance for Ukrainians to find jobs and enter the education system.

    Many of the Ukrainians who were forced to leave their homes chose to stay in Poland because of the population’s openness to refugees and the cultural and linguistic similarities between the two countries. There was already a small population of Ukrainian economic migrants living in Poland, which helped ease integration.

    Other refugees decided not to stay and traveled through Poland to other European countries. Some have now returned to Ukraine.

  • Where have Ukrainian refugees settled in Poland?

    Ukrainians have settled all across Poland but the highest numbers can be found in Mazowieckie, the province where Warsaw, the country’s capital, is located.

  • Which country has taken in the most Ukrainian refugees?

    Germany currently has the highest number of Ukrainian refugees in Europe, hosting 1.2 million. Poland is in second place with just under 1 million, while the Czech Republic is in third place with more than 380,000.

  • How can I help Ukrainian refugees in Poland?

    By donating to International Medical Corps, you can help us respond to the needs of Ukrainian refugees and other crisis-affected people around the world.



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