The Polish branch of Catholic charity Caritas is providing assistance at the border to migrants who just crossed from Belarus, with a center offering food, clothes and blankets.
Caritas Polska, the Polish chapter of the Catholic charity, has set up a center at the border with Belarus to help migrants.
"There is no contradiction between helping the needy and respecting the work of those who defend the security of our borders and country," said Reverend Marcin Iżycki, director of Caritas Polska, on Thursday (November 18).
So-called 'Tents of hope' have been set up in seven parishes of the archdiocese of the Polish city of Bialystok to collect food, clothes and blankets for migrants.
Aid worth more than one million zlotys (roughly 213,000 euros) has been provided by Caritas to migrants in Poland, the Polish Episcopal Conference has said.
Aid not just for migrants who entered Poland but 'for all those in need'
Caritas Polska has stressed that activities on the Polish-Belarusian border are aimed at helping not only migrants who entered the country but all those who need support. "We will be beside the needy for as long as the crisis will last", said Rev. Iżycki.
"With Caritas' activities, we try to take into account all groups affected by this crisis: migrants, refugees, residents of these territories and security forces."
The director of Caritas Polska also recalled that on Sunday (November 21) churches across Poland will be raising funds in favor of migrants and refugees, in response to "an appeal by Mons. Stanisław Gądecki, president of the Polish Episcopal Conference."
Ready for long-term aid, Caritas
"We don't make distinctions between those in need based on religion or nationality, we help all those who need assistance," assured Father Jerzy Sęcze, a Caritas representative in Białystok who has "collaborated with border guards since the start of the crisis to support migrants in need."
Caritas Polka said it is ready to provide long-term assistance to migrants. Poland hosts several centers for foreigners and "the number of people there has recently tripled", he said.