WHO / POLAND UKRAINIAN REFUGEES

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17-Mar-2022 00:05:25
Over 3 million refugees have fled Ukraine over the past 3 weeks. Over 1.8 million of them have crossed the border into Poland at which point the majority are taken by buses to reception centres in Poland. WHO

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STORY: WHO / POLAND UKRAINIAN REFUGEES
TRT: 5:25
SOURCE: WHO
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
DATELINE: 8 MARCH 2022, HREBENNE AND LUBYCZA KRÓLEWSKA, POLAND / 9 MARCH 2022, BUDOMIERZ, POLAND/ 10 MARCH 2022, MEDYKA, POLAND

SHOTLIST:

8 MARCH 2022, HREBENNE AND LUBYCZA KRÓLEWSKA, POLAND

1. Wide shot, bus crossing the Ukraine-Poland border near Hrebenne
2. Wide shot, car with children sign crossing the Ukraine-Poland border near Hrebenne
3. Various shots, people walking with suitcases in Lubycza Królewska
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Selma Sevkli, WHO EURO Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Expert:
“We are in Medyka, in one of the 8 crossing points between Ukraine and Poland, this is one of the busy ones. As you see, people behind me, they keep coming and we see 99% of women and children, there are very few men who are either disabled or elderly. It's freezing cold. But luckily, this is organized well at this stage that people have some transport to go to reception centres. And meanwhile, the food is distributed and there are clothes, warm clothes ready for everyone. And they don't wait long, they go to the next place, which is a reception centre and sort out their next level of destination.”

9 MARCH 2022, BUDOMIERZ, POLAND

5. Various shots, Ukrainian refugees arriving by bus and walking to a reception centre in the Polish village of Budomierz
6. Various shots, Selma Sevkli walking near tents that have been set up to provide basic services for refugees, hot meals, hygiene supplies, specific items for babies and mothers and warm clothes donated by the Polish public.
7. Various shots, refugees looking for warm clothes donated by the Polish public
8.SOUNDBITE (English) Selma Sevkli, WHO EURO mental health and psychosocial support expert:
“It's very difficult. I mean, not that they go through all this difficult journey without knowing what's going to happen next, but they also leave their male family members behind to fight. So it is very difficult for them to calm because the situation is not finished. They are safe here, they know, but their journey is not finished.”

10 MARCH 2022, MEDYKA, POLAND

9. Various shots, interior of Medyka’s school gym now turned into a refugee reception centre
10. Med shot, a WHO rapid assessment team speaking to Ukrainian refugees in the refugee reception centre about their health needs
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Selma Sevkli, WHO EURO Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Expert:
“As WHO, we are currently trying to assess the needs by talking to local, national organizations and the people themselves to understand the needs from them so we can provide services, especially my specialty being mental health and psychosocial support. We also coordinate… we lead mental health and psychosocial support actors, activities, and we are planning to do capacity building for the frontliners who are providing the support. The first one will be psychological first aid trainings for our frontliners.”
12. Various shots, Selma listening to a team of Polish Red Cross paramedics working at the reception centre of Medyka
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Selma Sevkli, WHO EURO Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Expert:
“I mean, today we were talking to some medical team, the Red Cross, actually. They were in the reception centre, taking care of people, and they mentioned the the most urgent need for people actually is mental health. Every other essentially need is covered, but people need somebody to listen to them. And also, the service providers are not sure what to do. How to support them. And at the same time, we see a lot of resilience. Yes, people are still in fear. People are crying. People are confused with all this situation. But at the same time, I see a lot of courage and resilience. One woman I saw today in the middle of all this chaos, she found a little space for herself to do her yoga, and she was keeping very strong and she she was very inspiring.”
14. Various shots, Selma speaking to Svitlana, a young Ukrainian refugee
15. Various shots, Svitlana doing yoga in the reception centre

STORYLINE:

Over 3 million refugees have fled Ukraine over the past 3 weeks. Over 1.8 million of them have crossed the border into Poland at which point the majority are taken by buses to reception centres in Poland. Schools and sports halls have been repurposed into reception centres for refugees; they are filled with beds where refugees can rest after a long and arduous journey.

The majority of refugees coming to Poland are women and children.

Selma Sevkli is a mental health and psychosocial support expert for the World Health Organization. Over the past week she has travelled to border crossings and reception centres along the Polish/Ukrainian border speaking to refugees and health workers, assessing their health needs in order to provide adequate support, especially in the critical fields of mental health and psychosocial support.

In the Polish city of Budomierz many Ukrainian refugees arrive by bus. They will wait in this transit space in Poland before being taken by another bus to a refugee reception centre or will be met by family members, friends or a driver who will take them to cities in Poland or other countries in Europe. Ukrainian refugees are given a hot meal, they can pick up hygiene supplies and items specific for babies and mothers which are mostly donated by the Polish public. Warm clothes are available for refugees who might have spent hours in the bitter cold waiting to cross into Poland.

In the small Polish town of Medyka, a former school gym is now a refugee reception centre. Just like Budomierz, Medyka is offering refugees a place to rest, see a nurse for basic medical services, regroup and recover before moving on to other cities in Poland or beyond. There, Selma Sevkli, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support expert and a WHO rapid assessment team spoke to Ukrainian refugees and to a team of Polish Red Cross paramedics to understand their needs.

In Medyka’s refugee reception centre, Svitlana a Ukrainian refugee told WHO that exercising helps her stay positive in this situation. Doing yoga keeps her focused and strong and helps relieve her stress.
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