The International Armed Conflict between Russia and Ukraine has displaced millions of people, constituting the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has been on the frontlines of humanitarian response, working with those who have been forced to flee their homes. Today, after an in-depth needs assessment, JRS Europe is presenting the coordinated unified response from the Society of Jesus to the crisis: The One Proposal.
Through this initiative, JRS and Xavier Network which coordinate the global response from the Society of Jesus, will accompany, serve, and advocate for more than 73,000 refugees fleeing conflict in Ukraine over the course of the next three years. This response will be coordinated by JRS Europe, and implemented jointly with 23 JRS Country Offices, the Society of Jesus in Europe, local civil society, NGOs, and Xavier Network.
The priorities: to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate refugees
The One Proposal will address the needs of forcibly displaced Ukrainians across Europe, from immediate humanitarian response and emergency assistance in Ukraine and its neighbours, to long-term programmes to promote and integrate refugees from Portugal to Poland. It will benefit Internally displaced people, refugees of Ukrainian nationality and refugees of other nationalities, displaced by the conflict in Ukraine.
The response is structured around five key strategic objectives that aim to put people at the centre of the intervention:
- Welcome: ensure refugees are welcomed across Europe by accompanying them and listening to their stories, and by walking together without prejudice and without fear.
- Protect: defend the inalienable rights of displaced people, ensuring their fundamental freedoms, and respecting their dignity.
- Promote: safeguard the individual and social conditions for access, choice, growth, and human development for those displaced by the conflict by encouraging programmes which involve refugees as active protagonists.
- Integrate: foment social interaction, inclusion, and integration, aiming to reduce economic and social marginalisation, and support more cohesive, inclusive, and robust societies.
- Institutional Strengthening: scale-up our strength, capacities, and networks to provide a large-scale high-quality response to the needs of refugees.
These strategic objectives will guide the activities in all sectors, such as shelter, accommodation & non-food items; emergency aid, relief & assistance; legal assistance; health; psychosocial support; education; livelihoods; awareness & advocacy; integration & peacebuilding; and capacity building.
A structured plan that is already being implemented
Since the conflict began, JRS and partners have been on the frontline of humanitarian response. This work has been taking place in Ukraine, where displaced people are provided with shelter in Lviv, emergency humanitarian assistance, and safe transportation out of the country.
It has been taking place in Romania and Hungary, where JRS has been providing accommodation, food, essential items, accompaniment, legal assistance, and other services to refugees. In Poland, the Society of Jesus has been providing shelter, educational and child-care initiatives, transportation, Non-food items, emergency assistance, and other aid to refugees. In addition, JRS coordinates the response in Slovakia with other partners to provide clothes and supplies for refugees, and in Moldova, providing shelter, basic goods, medication, psycho-emotional, legal, and employment support for refugees.
Finally, JRS offices in the ‘countries of secondary movement’ across Europe have been providing welcome, legal, accommodation, and employment assistance, basic goods, and other services to refugees.
The One Proposal aims to structure and coordinate the response. It is the result of extensive research, consultation, and analysis with partners and refugees themselves. The document details diverse interventions, ranging from emergency aid and support to long-term education and livelihood assistance. It also covers a broad area, from Ukraine itself to neighbouring countries like Poland, to the so-called ‘countries of secondary movement.’ However, throughout the plan, and the projects proposed, JRS and its partners have attempted to centre the needs, interests, and agency of displaced people, to ensure they are welcomed, protected, promoted, and integrated across Europe.
Help us by supporting Ukrainian refugees
We also need to continue to combine our fundraising efforts to cover all the needs over the next three years. Help us to respond to the Ukraine crisis by donating: https://jrseurope.org/en/home/?form=solidarity-with-ukraine