TSF sets up bases to help Ukraine refugees from Russian attacks
Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), the telecoms industry’s global aid organisation, has set up an operational base in the Polish city of Rzeszów, just 80km from the border with Ukraine
Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), the telecoms industry’s global aid organisation, has set up an operational base in the Polish city of Rzeszów, just 80km from the border with Ukraine.
The organisation, supported by many of the world’s carriers as well as by Capacity Media, is using the base to support refugees in Poland, but also to respond to the needs in Ukraine, just two weeks after it was attacked by Russia.
Sébastien Latouille, head of the Europe base deployed in Poland, said: “This operational base will allow us to respond to the needs of the growing refugee population, to help them to obtain information for their future and to keep in touch with their loved ones in Ukraine.”
Two million refugees (see picture, via TSF) have already fled Ukraine to seek refuge and safety in neighbouring countries following the outbreak of Russia’s war.
TSF said its objective is to assist the refugees with all the available means: 4G mobile network or satellite solutions. Information and communication are vital needs when war separates families and forces the most vulnerable to flee, said the organisation.
Latouille said the Rzeszów base “will also allow us to develop collaborations with humanitarian actors in order to help the people who are still in Ukraine.”
The team on the ground has carried out various operations to assess the needs of the people who are still fleeing, and is preparing to intervene at the border crossings between Poland and Ukraine.
They have visited the reception centre in Przemysl, on the Polish side of the border with Ukraine, where the local authority has set up an emergency shelter and distribution point.
The team also visited the border crossings of Korczowa-Krakovets and Medyka, two of the eight border crossings between Poland and Ukraine.
At the same time, TSF is also present in Siret, Romania, just 2km from the Ukrainian border, to assess local needs. It will continue its operations in Moldova where it is trying to set up collaborations with local groups to the south-west of Ukraine. Moldova is close to the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, now being targeted by Russian attacks.
TSF noted: “These assessment operations are not without difficulties, because millions of refugees trying to find refuge also pass through Slovakia and Hungary. The area to be covered is spread out over several countries; this obliges TSF to choose its first actions so that they will benefit the most in need communities.”
Members of the industry can support TSF in US dollars, euros or British pounds via this link.