(Bloomberg) -- Poland’s plan to phase out support for about a million Ukrainian refugees living in the country risks putting them back in harm’s way, the International Rescue Committee said.
“We are concerned that the withdrawal of humanitarian aid and legal pressures may compel some refugees to return to Ukraine before it is safe to do so,” IRC’s Country Director in Poland Alan Moseley said in a statement.
Poland is unlikely to extend the support for refugees, which is scheduled to expire next year, the government spokesman said this month. The remarks added to the growing tensions between the two countries as Poland heads into a tightly-contested parliamentary election on Oct. 15.
Poland has spent about 2.4 billion zloty ($550 million) in child support for Ukrainian families who have fled to Poland to avoid the war. Other forms of assistance include waiving residency requirements and the granting of work permits, free access to schools, medical treatment and family benefits.
A third of 270 Ukrainian refugees recently surveyed by the humanitarian aid group said they would return to Ukraine if they lost housing in Poland. Many of them still rely on unsustainable housing and are discriminated on local labor market, according to IRC.
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