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A new independent fund to support assistance for people from Ukraine in Poland has been established. This is an opportunity for Polish organizations to finance aid programs.

International organizations have reduced support for Polish institutions helping Ukrainians by as much as 80 percent. Assistance is still needed by several hundred thousand people living in our country, including women, children and the elderly. Responding to these needs, a special fund is being established through the joint initiative of Polish organizations, the administration, and the private sector, which will provide nearly 5 million zlotys in aid at the start.

The Polish Organizations Pooled Fund (POP Fund) is a tool through which Polish organizations will have a chance to finance projects to help refugees from Ukraine and their host communities. The fund’s operator is the Polish Center for International Aid, an organization with many years of expertise.

– The POP Fund is aimed primarily at small and medium-sized Polish non-governmental organizations operating outside large metropolitan areas, which have included assistance to refugees from Ukraine in their activities since last year. The goal of the fund is to improve the living conditions of refugees, especially those living outside of large cities; as well as to provide assistance to those most in need: mothers with small children, the elderly, children,” explains Dr. Wojtek Wilk, the fund’s originator.

The POP Fund’s primary goal is to help refugees from Ukraine. However, among the projects financed by the fund, support may also be provided in the future to Polish communities hosting refugees. – An example of such activities could include, for example, the renovation of communal housing, which will benefit both refugees and local residents from Poland. Another direction is working towards the integration of Ukrainian and Polish children, Dr. Wilk mentions.

The fund is a joint initiative of the third sector, established after consultations with UN agencies, donors such as Google, Meta, banks, and other international companies operating in Poland. Funds for assistance will be distributed  through open grant competitions. Their allocation will be decided by the fund’s Steering Committee, which includes representatives of non-governmental organizations, state and local governments and the private sector.

This year the POP Fund (The Polish Organizations Pooled Fund) plans to allocate nearly 5 million zlotys to help refugees from Ukraine. Foundations, associations, parishes, the rural housewives’ clubs and Volunteer Fire Brigades units will be able to apply for these funds.

– Applications submitted to the POP Fund will be evaluated by independent experts. They will be categorized financially into three groups. Small grants, primarily targeted at rural areas, up to 50,000 Polish zlotys. These grants are available to rural housewives clubs, Volunteer Fire Brigades units, parishes, and others. Medium grants, up to 200,000 zlotys, will be available only for foundations, non-governmental organizations, and associations. Large projects will have a value exceeding 200,000 zlotys. The POP Fund will announce open calls for project proposals in November. Meanwhile, in December we will accept applications for all types of projects – explains Wojtek Wilk, the CEO of the PCPM Foundation.

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