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Situation at the border Ukraine must be handled faster and better

People fleeing war violence in Ukraine must be able to cross the border faster. This is stated by emergency aid organization ZOA after conversations with refugees at the Ukrainian/Hungarian border. ZOA calls on the EU and the UN to speed up the procedure for refugees and to improve the situations at the border.

Mothers and children

Hours of waiting in the freezing cold

“It is already dramatic to have to flee from a war and to leave your husband and sons behind,” says special ambassador Joël Voordewind of ZOA. "It becomes inhumane when mothers, babies and children have to wait for days at the border in the freezing cold.''

Voordewind: ''It is understandable that the EU countries carry out thorough checks before people enter the EU, but these waiting times cause inhumane situations and are embarrassing for the EU," says Voordewind. “The border police of Ukraine's neighboring countries cannot handle the influx.”


ZOA therefore calls upon the Dutch government and other EU countries to offer the neighboring countries reinforcements. The deployment of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex, for example, could speed up the border procedure. "The people at the border have fled the bombs and violence. Mothers want nothing more than to get their children and themselves to safety as quickly as possible," says Voordewind. Once across the border, aid has now started. Many local organisations and individuals receive people in community centers, churches and sports halls.

Emergency aid

Together with the Christian Emergency Relief Cluster, ZOA immediately took action in Hungary and also in Ukraine itself (Transcarpathia). We provide relief aid in collaboration with Dorcas and local partners. The first aid supplies have been purchased and distributed: from toiletries to food and clothing. ZOA is preparing to provide assistance in the longer term as well. In addition, ZOA has offered assistance to the UN refugee organization UNHCR. Questions have now been asked in the Dutch House of Representatives about the very slow border procedure and the lack of assistance.