This report and study have been conducted with help from ARC Romania, through the „Hope for Ukraine. Power from all” fund, aimed at providing support to organizations offering short and medium-term assistance for refugees fleeing Ukraine
CARE – a global confederation that has been fighting poverty and social injustice for over 75 years, through their nationally implemented and coordinated programme led by SERA Romania (a not-for profit, non-governmental, private organization, that has been working for 26 years in the field of promoting children’s rights and child protection in Romania) with the help of FONPC (The NGOs Federation for Children).
Table of Contents
- List of figures 3
- List of tables 4
- FONPC and its role in responding to the refugee crisis 5
- Introduction. 7
- Romania’s response from the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine. 10
- Coordinating Mechanisms 12
- Public Policy. 14
- The involvement of FONPC member organizations in the crisis in Ukraine. 17
- General Information. 17
- Assistance directly provided in Ukraine. 20
- Assistance provided to Ukrainian refugees in Romania. 21
- Human resources 26
- Financial resources mobilized. 28
- Cooperating with public authorities 30
List of figures
- Figure 1. The distribution of responding organizations by legal form.. 6
- Figure 2. The distribution of responding organizations by operating region. 6
- Figure 3. FONPC’s intervention in the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. 7
- Figure 4. The organization-level experience in the area of action carried out during the state of emergency 7
- Figure 5. Direct assistance offered in Ukraine from the outbreak of war 8
- Figure 6. Types of direct assistance offered in Ukraine. 9
- Figure 7. Types of assistance offered in Romania. 10
- Figure 8. Types of basic services offered in Romania. 10
- Figure 9. Assistance for the transportation of refugees 11
- Figure 10. Protection services offered to refugees 11
- Figure 11. Financial assistance services 12
- Figure 12. Services for continuing children’s education. 12
- Figure 13. Physical donations collected and distributed. 13
- Figure 14. Have you had to hire new staff? 14
- Figure 15. Sources of donations/funding received. 16
- Figure 16. Have you encountered any obstacles caused by local or national legislation to carrying out your activities/interventions? 17
- Figure 17. How did your relationship with the state institutions you came into contact with work in the context of activities related to the war in Ukraine? 17
List of Tables
- Table 1. Border crossing points staffed by FONPC member organizations 7
- Table 2. Measures of central tendency on the number of Ukrainian refugees assisted by FONPC member organizations 8
- Table 3. Measures of central tendency on the number of people involved in activities related to the war in Ukraine. 13
- Table 4. Measures of central tendency on the number of volunteers involved in activities related to the war in Ukraine. 14
- Table 5. Measures of central tendency on the number of new employees hired for keeping up with activities related to the war in Ukraine. 15
- Table 6. Measures of central tendency on the total amount of money spent on assistance for those affected by the war, to date (EURO) 15
- Table 7. Measures of central tendency on the total amount of money contracted for the assistance of those affected by the war since its outbreak, to date (EURO) 16
FONPC and its role in responding to the refugee crisis
Founded in 1997, FONPC exists with and for its members which comprise of 65 NGOs, and it works towards supporting benefit of children and of the community, being guided by its statutory principles and provisions, and promoting the following values: the identity/autonomy of its members, efficiency in communication and action, democratic decision-making, solidarity, openness, trust, mutual respect, equity, consistency/continuity, partnership, transparency, participation, and involvement. In an effort to achieve its proposed objectives, FONPC works in close partnership with donors, financiers, local and national authorities, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, European institutions, the civil society, the community, as well as other participants involved in promoting respect for Children’s Rights.
The Federation has the role of monitoring children’s rights and influencing public policy in all sectors that pertain to children’s rights: education, social, healthcare, justice, etc.
The projects developed by FONPC over the years have involved supporting NGOs, as well as professional beneficiaries, children, and families. The 65 NGOs that comprise FONPC are independent organizations that have adhered to a Charter of common values, a statute and have created a strong shared voice.
The NGOs Federation for Children (FONPC) and its members provide humanitarian support to those affected by the conflict in Ukraine. FONPC has initiated a process of monitoring and coordinating with its members so as to be able to maintain a consistent and complementary set of actions during this period. FONPC members provide humanitarian assistance to children and families fleeing from Ukraine to Romania. By coordinating with public authorities, FONPC and its members strive to meet the needs of Ukrainian refugees.
In order to provide the necessary resources for the women and children leaving Ukraine, and in order to ensure the provision of spaces where they can feel safe, FONPC and its members provide human and material resources. Some of the teams in FONPC’s network of partner NGOs, including their volunteers, provide boots-on-the-ground help at border crossing points, in order to offer immediate aid to families and children in need who have been marked by the traumatic experiences of war and home abandonment. Other FONPC member organizations have mobilized and have been receiving refugees in the centres arranged throughout the country (Bucharest, Vaslui, Ploiesti, Satu-Mare, Galați, etc.).
From the beginning of the war until now, Romania has taken in and hosted thousands of refugees. FONPC member NGOs have mobilized resources and supported each person who needed support.
The activities of these NGOs represent an essential contribution to ensuring the human rights of refugees and other migrants, including the right to be treated with dignity and respect, the right to access healthcare and education services, adequate food, shelter and care, the right to freedom of expression and security, the right to seek asylum, as well as the right to receive protection against torture and other ill-treatment and the right against collective rejection and expulsion.
The FONPC team has focused its activity on coordinating collective action, as well as fundraising so that NGOs working on the ground can continue carrying out their activities.
At the same time, FONPC is part of the “Children and Youth” Working Group, organized by the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities, through the National Authority for the Protection of Children’s Rights and Adoption, participating in the implementation of Romania’s National Response Plan for managing the humanitarian refugee crisis.
Additionally, FONPC has actively participated in the meetings of the Strategic Coordination Group for Humanitarian Assistance (at the level of the Office of the Prime Minister, under the coordination of a state secretary).
We are also collaborating with the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations, the Department for Emergency Situations, the Romanian Red Cross, UNICEF, the General Directorates of Social Assistance and Child Protection, the Office of the Prime Minister, and NGO platforms.
The war in Ukraine has led to an unprecedented wave of refugees for the European Union, especially for the neighbouring countries – Poland, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, and Hungary. It is the largest refugee crisis in the world today according to UNHCR data and certainly the most significant refugee crisis that takes place in Europe since the Second World War. For this reason, the response provided by public institutions, and especially by non-governmental organizations and citizens, was and continues to be of an extremely large magnitude.
For most of those who have been forced to cross the border seeking shelter from the war, their departure was planned in great haste, having had limited belongings on their person and not knowing where they would stay, leading to an immense need for humanitarian aid. The capacity of public institutions to respond to this refugee crisis has been good, but not sufficient, due to the large number of people crossing the border. The mobilization of the civil society, citizens, and non-governmental organizations, has been extremely important in providing an adequate and rapid response to the problems of the refugees.
As of June 30, 2022, UNHCR data indicate a figure of 5,493,437 Ukrainian refugees outside their home country, with about 7 million inside Ukraine (UNHCR, 2022). Of the approximately 5.5 million Ukrainians abroad, 3,574,485 have applied for temporary or other forms of protection in the countries they have gone to. Starting February 24, 2022, a total of 8,402,336 Ukrainians have crossed the border, 3,097,412 of which have returned. The figures on the number of refugees in EU countries bordering Ukraine showed that approximately 1.2 million have gone to Poland, 83 thousand to Romania, 80 thousand to Slovakia, and 26 thousand to Hungary. The number of Ukrainians who have transited from neighbouring countries to Western European countries is a lot higher. At the end of June 2022, UNHCR data showed that the number of Ukrainians in Germany stands at 867,000, in the Czech Republic at over 380 thousand, 141,562 in Italy, over 125,000 in Spain, over 91 thousand in both France and the United Kingdom, and approximately 84 thousand in Bulgaria (Map 1).
Map 1. The situation of Ukrainian refugees in Europe
The attacks on the civil infrastructure, hospitals, and schools have been impactful, leading to an exodus of the population, especially among mothers of underage children and the elderly. In Romania, 55% of those who crossed the border from Ukraine were women, 29% were minors, and 16% were men.
The mobilization of NGOs toward helping refugees in the immediate wake of the conflict’s outbreak has been exemplary and has required the provision of services and physical aid at the border, but has ultimately also required accommodation and transit centres, depending on the needs of the refugees. The assistance offered by NGOs has been tailored and adapted to the ever-changing needs of refugees.
The assistance offered can be grouped into two categories: assistance provided immediately after the border crossing, and assistance offered subsequently to those who decided to stay in Romania. The assistance offered at the border crossing points with Ukraine or Moldova included the provision of non-perishable food, hot meals, hygiene products, medication, clothing, free housing, legal counselling, psychological counselling, translation, transportation, and orientation at the border and within neighboring cities.
The support provided subsequently included the provision of accommodation and meals, as well as social services for families and children (day care centres, recovery services, psychological counselling, legal counselling, etc.), educational services, services for adapting to the labour market or support for accessing of medical services.
The large number of children and young people who have crossed the border from Ukraine into Romania and then remained there has led public authorities and especially NGOs to seek out solutions for better social and educational integration. Thus, in addition to accommodation and meal services, a range of services has been developed to help young people learn the Romanian language to be able to enroll in Romanian educational institutions (summer schools, Romanian language courses), but also to help them overcome war trauma (mental health services). NGOs serving children have beenamong the most active in this refugee crisis.
The Involvement Of FONPC In Supporting Ukrainian Refugees report aims to analyze the response of FONPC and its member organizations to the refugee crisis in Ukraine. The study aimed to analyze what assistance was offered to refugees per member organization,what it consisted of, and what resources the NGOs had at their disposal.
The methodology behind this report includes secondary data analysis on Ukrainian refugees (number of refugees, number of refugees who applied for temporary protection, age categories, gender), a public policy analysis (policy measures proposed by public authorities for responding to the refugee crisis), an analysis of social documents (reports prepared by other NGOs, public institutions) and an online survey conductd among FONPC member organizations.
Romania’s response from the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine
Between February 24 and June 30, 2022, 1,378,997 Ukrainians entered Romania both at direct border crossing points, as well as through those shared with Moldova, according to UNHCR data obtained from the General Inspectorate of the Border Force and the Department for Emergency Situations. Of these, 55% (510 thousand) were women, 29% (275 thousand) minors, and 16% (149 thousand) men. As many as 1,292,843 have left Romania, either going to other countries within the EU or outside it or opting to return to Ukraine. Thus, 86,154 Ukrainians remain in Romania, 42,207 of which have requested temporary protection. (Figure 1)
The number of those benefiting from temporary protection for refugees affected by the conflict in Ukraine has increased from 2,034 in March (the implementation of the European Directive for giving temporary protection 2001/55/EC was adopted in Romania on March 18, 2022) to 7,754 in April, to 22,282 in May. In June, the number of those who obtained temporary protection and implicitly, also a temporary Romanian residence permit, decreased to 10,672 people. (Figure 2) Among the 42,207 Ukrainians who have obtained temporary protection in Romania, 66% are female, 39% are minors, 56% are adults and 5% are elderly.
Figure 2. The distribution of responding organizations by operating region
Responding to the humanitarian refugee crisis in Ukraine has involved the provision of an extremely diverse range of resources in order to meet as many needs as possible, ranging from shelter and food to legal advice and psychosocial counselling, to support on the labour market, mental health services, abuse prevention services, educational services, etc. All such interventions have been offered by various public institutions, non-governmental organizations, citizens, and even economic agents.
To maintain an integrated approach to intervention and to coordinate the activity of public institutions with different law enforcement and operating features at all levels of the central administration, a government structure was established, comprising of a high level decision-making Task-Force (under the coordination of the Prime Minister), namely „The Commission of Ukraine” Task Force (led by the head of the Prime Minister’s Office), and the Strategic Coordination Group for Humanitarian Assistance (at the level of the Prime Minister’s Office, under the coordination of a state secretary). The Commission of Ukraine has the role of overseeing the activities of the ministries involved in managing the flow of refugees.
The Strategic Coordination Group for Humanitarian Assistance aims to provide a strategic framework for the humanitarian response and to facilitate cooperation between agencies and other partners at the national, European, and international levels.
Romania’s interventional responses have been structured on two levels: emergency aid (short-term measures) and protection measures (medium and long-term). The emergency aid offered has mainly been provided by the Department for Emergency Situations within the Ministry of Internal Affairs and has covered services offered at border crossing points (emergency shelter, food, basic medical assistance, etc.). The aid given at border crossings has been complemented by several policy measures adopted by ministries to respond to the needs of refugees. The emergency aid provided has strongly been bolstered by NGOs, both at border crossing points and various other locations.
The protection of refugees has comprised of medium and long-term protection measures, as well as measures for the social inclusion of those who have chosen to live in Romania. These measures have been established by six working groups specializing in the following areas: housing, employment, education, healthcare, vulnerable people, and children and young people. The development of these localized measures was coordinated by the Strategic Coordination Group for Humanitarian Assistance from within the Office of the Prime Minister, with the proposed measures being included in sectoral action plans and eventually in the National Plan for measures of protection and inclusion of those displaced from Ukraine who benefit from temporary protection in Romania (approved by emergency ordinance no. 100/ 29.06.2022). These specific measures for the 6 different fields have been developed in liaison with experts from corresponding ministries, experts from UN agencies, and representatives of the civil society. (Figure 3)
A Refugee Response Plan (RRP) has been established at the level of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This Plan has brought together UN agencies, national and international organizations, as well as partner organizations with the aim of supporting the Government in protecting and assisting refugees. In order to effectively respond to the refugee crisis, 7 working groups have been established, each comprising international organizations and national NGOs: The Working Group for Inter-Agency Coordination, the Protection Working Group, the Health Working Group (with a sub-group dedicated to mental health and psychosocial support), the Working Group for Basic Needs, Working Group for Financial Assistance, the Working Group for Information and Management, Working Group for Protection from Sexual Exploitation.
The management of Ukraine’s refugee crisis has involved the coordination of efforts done by experienced national and local actors. As a result, on February 27, 2022, a task force was created at the Government level, having the main responsibility of monitoring the situation, and coordinating all government measures, to ensure the smooth operation of all public services. This task force was established by the emergency ordinance no. 15/ 27.02. 2022 that granted humanitarian support offered by the Romanian state to foreign or stateless persons coming from the areas of armed conflict in Ukraine in special situations.
The 15/2022 ordinance provides essential utilities that Ukrainian citizens can use during their temporary stay in humanitarian assistance camps or other locations set up by the county committees for emergency situations or by Bucharest’s municipal committee: food, clothing, personal hygiene products, medical assistance, and the right to be included in national health programs aimed at the prevention, surveillance, and control of communicable diseases in situations of epidemiological risk. Unaccompanied children also benefit from special protection, as provided by law 272/2004 for the protection and promotion of children’s rights. The costs incurred by the provision of essential utilities are offset by the state budget through the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations budget.
To ensure the accommodation of refugees from Ukraine, the Romanian government has implemented decision no. 315/5.03.2022 for approving the maximum value of accommodation-related costs in locations established by county committees/Bucharest municipality committees, for emergency situations concerning foreign or stateless persons in special situations who come from the areas of armed conflict in Ukraine and who do not request a form of protection, according to Law no. 122/2006 regarding asylum in Romania.
The adopted decision also triggered the allocation of an amount from the Budgetary Reserve Fund at the disposal of the Government, accounted for by the 2022 state budget, in order to supplement the budget of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to this government decision, the amount granted for accommodation was 100 RON per day/person, even reaching 230 RON per day/room, if several refugees were accommodated. These amounts were not ultimately granted, with the legislation being amended by decision 352/ 21.04.2022, such that the amount granted for one night’s accommodation for a refugee was 50 RON.
The emergency ordinance no. 20/ 7.03.2022 concerning the modification and completion of a few normative acts, as well as for the establishment of support measures and humanitarian assistance completes the provisions of OG 15/ 27.02.2022 and introduces new support measures for refugees in areas such as employment, education, health, social protection (for unaccompanied children and people with disabilities), and transportation.
These support measures are designed to more effectively respond to the needs of refugees who have decided to settle in Romania, as well as to those who are just transiting the country (e.g. free transport on the national railway system, free accommodation, and food). At the same time, GEO 20/ 7.03.2022 also introduces the possibility of granting temporary protection for people from Ukraine according to the Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022.
The temporary protection offered in accordance with Law 122/2006, concerning asylum in Romania is an „exceptional procedure designed to ensure, in the event of a massive flow or an imminent massive flow of displaced third-country nationals who cannot return to their country of origin, immediate and temporary protection, in particular if there is also a risk that the asylum system will not be able to process this flow without adverse effects to its functioning, in the interest of the affected persons and other persons needing protection”.
The duration of the temporary protection is 1 year, with the possibility of automatic extension for 6-month periods, for a maximum of one year. The main rights of the persons benefiting from temporary protection are:
- to be issued a document that grants them permission to stay on Romanian territory;
- to be employed by individuals or legal entities, to carry out independent activities according to the rules applicable to their profession, as well as activities such as educational opportunities for adults, vocational training, and practical work experience in accordance with the law;
- to benefit, on request, from assistance that is necessary for maintenance in situations where they do not have the physical means necessary;
- to receive free primary medical care and adequate treatment, emergency care, as well as free medical care and treatment in cases of acute or chronic diseases that put one’s life in imminent danger, through the national system of emergency medical care and qualified first aid;
- the right to access educational institutions in Romania under the same conditions and with funding from the same budgets as Romanian preschoolers and pupils;
- the right to free accommodation in boarding schools, food allowance, and all the necessary resources, respectively: supplies, clothing, footwear, and textbooks.
The measures proposed by the six working groups coordinated by the Strategic Coordination Group of Humanitarian Assistance from the Office of the Prime Minister have been adopted in the National Plan of measures concerning the protection and inclusion of displaced persons from Ukraine who are beneficiaries of temporary protection in Romania. This has been approved through emergency ordinance no. 100/ 29.06.2022 concerning the approval and implementation of the National Plan of measures regarding the protection and inclusion of displaced persons from Ukraine who are beneficiaries of temporary protection in Romania.
The National Plan includes a variety of essential interventions in six key areas: employment, health, education, housing, vulnerable people, and children and young people. The plan aims to ensure an integrated package of protection measures for Ukrainian refugees during the period of temporary protection as well as during its extension.
Detailed information about FONPC’s involvement in the crisis in Ukraine have been collected through the distribution of a questionnaire among the member organizations, 25 of which have responded out of approximately 65. A total of 22 of the responding organizations carried out assistance-related activities during the crisis in Ukraine and have been included in the analysis.
Out of the responding organizations, 11 are associations, 10 are foundations, and 1 is a federation (Figure 4). From a regional standpoint (Figure 5), half of the responding organizations conduct their activity in the Bucharest-Ilfov region, 5 in the Eastern, North-Eastern, and South-Eastern regions (the counties of Bacău, Galați, Iași, and Vaslui), and 6 in the Western and North-Western regions (the counties of Hunedoara, Timiș, and Maramureș).
FONPC member organizations have been providing assistance towards the Ukrainian crisis both via “Line 1” (assistance provided immediately after the border crossing), at various border points (11 organizations), as well as via “Line 2”, (assistance offered subsequently to those who decided to stay in Romania) in Romanian cities (17 organizations, Figure 6). Moreover, one of the responding organizations has been involved in ensuring the provision of necessary goods for families hosted in refugee assistance centres in Ukrainian cities close to the Romanian border.
From a regional perspective, organizations from the West were more involved in the assistance provided in Romanian cities, while organizations from Bucharest-Ilfov and the East were involved at the border points as well as in the cities in which they usually conduct their activities. The border points served (Siret, Isaccea, Albița, Sighet, Halmeu, Stanca Costești, Giurgiulești and Oancea) and the number of active organizations in each area are highlighted in Table 1 below.
Figure 6. The type of support offered by FONPC in Ukraine’s Humanitarian crisis
Table 1. Border crossing points staffed by FONPC member organizations
|Border Crossing||The number of organizations and their region of origin|
|Siret||5 organizations from Bucharest-Ilfov and the Eastern region|
|Isaccea||4 organizations from Bucharest-Ilfov and the Western region|
|Albița||3 organizations from Bucharest-Ilfov and the Eastern region|
|Sighet||2 organizations from Bucharest-Ilfov|
|Halmeu||1 organization from Bucharest-Ilfov|
|Stanca Costești||1 organization from Bucharest-Ilfov|
|Giurgiulești||1 organization from the Eastern region|
|Oancea||1 organization from the Eastern region|
Most of the organizations involved (18 out of 22, Figure 7) stated that they have had previous experience, at the organizational level, in the area of actions carried out during a state of emergency. Only two of the organizations from the Eastern region and one organization from Bucharest-Ilfov and the Western region stated that they had no such previous experience.
Figure 7. The organization-level experience in the area of action carried out during the state of emergency
Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, FONPC member organizations have assisted a total of almost 380,000 refugees and victims of the war (assistance directly provided in Ukraine) with an average of over 17,000, and a maximum of 150,000 people helped. Table 2 below shows the main measures of central tendency regarding the number of Ukrainian refugees assisted by FONPC member organizations by number of people reached, and by region of activity.
Table 2. Measures of central tendency on the number of Ukrainian refugees assisted by FONPC member organizations and assistance directly provided in Ukraine
|Total FONPC organizations||378,755||17,216||865||10||150,000|
|North-East and South-East||6,510||1,302||1,060||100||3,000|
|West and North-West||2,210||368||45||10||2,000|
Regional differences are important in this case. Specifically, organizations from the Bucharest-Ilfov region assisted the largest number of refugees – 370,000, with an average of almost 34,000, and organizations from the Eastern region assisted a total of 6,500 refugees with an average of 1,300 and a maximum of 3,000. In the Western region, more than 2,000 refugees have been assisted in total with an average of almost 400.
Assistance directly provided in Ukraine
Most of the responding organizations (17 out of 22) have also provided direct aid in Ukraine, since the outbreak of the war (Figure 8). Most of these organizations operate in the Bucharest-Ilfov region. Only 2 of the 5 organizations in the Western region provided direct aid in Ukraine, most likely due to being such a long distance away from the border points.
Figure 8. Direct assistance offered in Ukraine from the outbreak of war
The assistance in most cases involved the provision of food (12 organizations), personal hygiene products, including infant care (10 organizations), and the provision of tents, beds, pillows, blankets, bed linen, flashlights, electric generators, and batteries (8 organizations). To a lesser extent, organizations also provided medicine, medical equipment, and supplies or clothing and footwear (Figure 9).
4 of the organizations in the Bucharest-Ilfov region also offered other types of support, such as organizing training courses for professionals, support for NGOs, educational and recreational resources for children, emergency psychological intervention and assessments or payment for specialized staff (social workers, psychologists, translators) for interventions in partner transit centres. In addition, an organization from the Western region provided children’s toys and furniture.
Figure 9. Types of direct assistance offered in Ukraine
Assistance provided to Ukrainian refugees in Romania
In Romania, FONPC member organizations provide long-term assistance in most cases (14 organizations), by offering services aimed at the long-term integration of migrants (Figure 10). 9 organizations offer medium-term assistance through services for the refugees’ first 3 months in Romania, and 6 organizations (5 from the Bucharest-Ilfov region) work to strengthen the coordination between state institutions and the civil society. Organizations in the West region exclusively offer long-term assistance.
Figure 10. Types of assistance offered in Romania
The basic services offered include food distribution (12 organizations), hygiene kit distribution (9 organizations), providing shelter at the locations of organizations or other public locations (8 organizations), and providing water (7 organizations). In fewer cases, organizations have offered hot meals (5 organizations), shelter in private accommodation (4 organizations), access to showers or water sources for washing (2 organizations from Bucharest-Ilfov), or shelter in transit centers (2 organizations). (Figure 11)
In the Bucharest-Ilfov region, 3 FONPC member organizations have also offered other types of basic services such as transportation, therapy services and psychological first aid, access to medical services, visa support and international transport. An organization in the Eastern region (Galați county) provided necessary resources for equipping the transit points in Oancea customs and organizing a child-friendly space in Giurgiulești customs. The same organization has paid translator’s daily fees to ensure a unique support line for refugees, 24 or 18 hours a day. In the Western region, two organizations have provided clothing, shoes, pillows, blankets, bed linens, flashlights, electric generators, batteries, medicine, medical equipment and supplies and have facilitated the collection of clothes, toys, and furniture.
Figure 11. Types of basic services offered in Romania
With regards to the transportation of refugees, this type of service has only been provided by 7 of the responding organizations, 4 of them being from the Bucharest-Ilfov region and 3 from the Eastern region (Figure 12).
Figure 12. Assistance for the transportation of refugees
All of the responding organizations have also offered various protection services to Ukrainian refugees (Figure 13), mainly in the form of counselling and psychological assistance services (12 organizations), daily or recurrent activities with children (10 organizations), or activities aimed at integrating children into schools or kindergartens (7 organizations).
A smaller number of organizations (5) have also offered assistance and recovery services for vulnerable groups (including specialized therapies for people with chronic conditions) or translation services, and 4 organizations offered services for preventing cases of abuse, violence, or human trafficking, as well as integration activities on the labour market. 3 organizations offered primary healthcare services, and 2 organizations provided counselling and legal assistance services.
Figure 13. Protection services offered to refugees
Several FONPC member organizations also supported Ukrainian refugees by providing financial assistance services such as assistance with rent payment (9 organizations), providing vouchers or food stamps (5 organizations), as well as financial assistance in the form of cash (5 organizations). One of the organizations in Bucharest financially supported other NGOs that provide services for refugees. (Figure 14)
Figure 14. Financial assistance services
Specific educational services for children are offered by a relatively small number of organizations – 5 organizations from the Bucharest-Ilfov region and 2 organizations from the Eastern and Western regions (Figure 15). Other educational services, such as organizing online courses for Ukrainian pupils with Ukrainian teachers or organizing Romanian language courses (for children and/or adults), are offered by a single organization in Bucharest. Other educational services include non-formal education activities, social activities, games, and communication with volunteers, often facilitated by Ukrainian-speaking staff.
Figure 15. Services for continuing children’s education
Several FONCP member organizations have collected and distributed material donations in support of Ukrainian refugees (Figure 16). These include clothing (6 organizations), household appliances, games and toys (5 organizations), bedding, and furniture or various equipment for transit centres (4 organizations).
Figure 16. Physical donations collected and distributed
All of the responding organizations have declared that they will continue their ongoing actions in support of Ukrainian refugees, that they can sustain this activity and consider it necessary.
The assistance offered to refugees during the crisis in Ukraine has required the involvement of a large number of human resources, both employees and volunteers. FONPC member organizations have drawn in a total of 661 employees and 1,132 volunteers for the activities related to the war in Ukraine. On average, 30 employees and 57 volunteers have been involved. A deeper analysis of the data obtained reveals important regional peculiarities reflected in Table 3 (employees) and Table 4 (volunteers) below.
Table 3. Measures of central tendency on the number of people employed in activities related to the war in Ukraine
|Total FONPC organizations||661||30||10||1||300|
|North-East and South-East||55||11||10||5||15|
|West and North-West||55||9||6||1||20|
Table 4. Measures of central tendency on the number of volunteers involved in activities related to the war in Ukraine
|Total FONPC organizations||1,132||57||10||0||800|
|North-East and South-East||200||40||15||0||150|
|West and North-West||22||4||2||0||14|
Organizations from the Bucharest-Ilfov region mobilized the highest percentages of employees and volunteers, both in total and on average. Organizations from the East and West of the country counted an equal number of employees, as much as 10 times lower compared to the number of employees involved by organizations from Bucharest-Ilfov. Organizations in the Western region drew in the smallest number of volunteers.
To carry out their activity in optimal conditions, most of the organizations (16 out of 22, Figure 17) have had to hire new staff. All of the responding organizations in the Bucharest-Ilfov region have been in this situation.
Figure 17. Have you had to hire new staff?
The total number of new hires has reached 204, with an average of 12 new employees per organization. Half of the organizations hired at most 5 new people. As was the case with the total number of people involved, the organizations from Bucharest-Ilfov hired the largest number of new employees, with the organizations from the West of the country taking on the smallest number of new staff.
Table 5. Measures of central tendency on the number of new employees hired for keeping up with activities related to the war in Ukraine
|Total new employees||Average||Median||Minimum||Maximum|
|Total FONPC organizations||204||12||5||0||70|
|North-East and South-East||19||5||2||0||15|
|West and North-West||11||4||1||0||10|
The need to hire new staff or to involve additional volunteers in the future is anticipated by most organizations. New employees or volunteers are needed to fill up roles of social workers (by 6 organizations), psychologists or psychotherapists (7 organizations), social educators or teachers (5 organizations), translators (6 organizations), managers, coordinators or administrators (5 organizations), and doctors or medical assistants (1 organization).
Financial resources mobilized
The crisis caused by the war in Ukraine has also brought about the mobilization of important financial resources – to date, a total of over 6 million Euros have been spent by FONPC member organizations, with a maximum of 3 million Euros spent by one organization (Table 6). Although the amount is rather high, there is quite a large degree of variance between organizations. To illustrate, there is one organization that has spent 3 million Euros, while others have spent amounts varying between 3,500 and 500,000 Euros.
Table 6. Measures of central tendency on the total amount of money spent on assistance for those affected by the war, to date (EURO)
|Total FONPC organizations||6,139,300||323,121||32,000||500||3,000,000|
|North-East and South-East||186,500||37,300||42,500||4,000||60,000|
|West and North-West||99,800||19,960||3,500||500||89,000|
The amount contracted for the assistance of those affected by the war since its outbreak to date has also increased – reaching a total of almost 11 million Euros, with a maximum of 6 million Euros obtained by any one organization (Table 7). The polarization here is very high once more, with the contracted financial resources varying greatly, ranging from 3,500 Euros to 6 million Euros.
Table 7. Measures of central tendency on the total amount of money contracted for the assistance of those affected by the war since its outbreak, to date (EURO)
|Total FONPC organizations||10,739,630||715,975||100,000||3,500||6,000,000|
|North-East and South-East||867,200||216,800||165,000||97,200||440,000|
|West and North-West||97,430||32,477||45,000||3,500||48,930|
At the regional level, organizations from Bucharest-Ilfov have contracted and spent the highest amount (between 91% and 95% of the total). Organizations from the West of the country have contracted and spent the lowest amounts, by a factor of nearly a hundred when compared to organizations from Bucharest. At the level of each region, there is one organization with the highest declared amount, either spent or contracted.
The donations and funding have overwhelmingly been received (16 organizations out of 22) (Figure 18) in the form of funds from private institutional foundations (including grants), with 10 organizations obtaining individual donations from private persons.
5 organizations (only one being from the East of the country, the others being located in the Bucharest-Ilfov region) have obtained funds from companies (including grants) or in-kind donations (products, equipment, etc.), while 4 organizations (all from Bucharest-Ilfov) have benefited from international public funds. Only a single organization, from the Bucharest-Ilfov region, has benefited from local public funds.
Figure 18. Sources of donations/funding received
The sums needed for the continuation of the activities for the next 6-8 months vary from 15,000 Euros to 6 million Euros, most likely depending on the scope of the assistance offered by each organization. On average, the organizations declare that they would need between 20,000 and 30,000 Euros per month to continue their activity assisting Ukrainian refugees.
Cooperating with public authorities
In carrying out their activities that assist Ukrainian refugees, most of the organizations (10 out of 22, Figure 19) state that they have not encountered obstacles having to do with local or national legislation. In addition, 19 of the 22 responding organizations have found that the relationship with the state institutions they came into contact with, relating to activities related to the war in Ukraine, was either good or very good. No notable differences have been recorded at the regional level.
In the future, the relationship with state institutions could be improved upon by increasing transparency (including by publishing aggregated data), flexibility, and response times, as well as by working on consistency in actions and responses to emerging situations. The increase in consistency refers, in equal measure, to consistency in the unified and expeditious application of the local and national legal framework. Equally important is the centralization of the needs and offers for help, so that refugees can access the services they require. A few quotes from the respondents illustrate these aspects:
At the county level, the application of the ordinance for reimbursing the expenses of refugees. There are counties where the authorities still do not offer assistance either to families who host refugees or to private institutions.
Even now, the matching of the needs of beneficiaries with the capacity for accommodation and social services is not done. There are gyms improperly set up for refugees and social services that do not reach them. The state has contracted hotels instead of accessing integrated social services offered by NGOs.
Initially, the coordination and communication were better. At the moment, it is difficult to source and centralize data on refugees and to be able to form an idea that reflects the needs in the area or region, so that you can respond to the needs as well as possible. We have no information at all about the activities of local and public social assistance services, nor has there been any coordination initiated in this regard.
The state will have to involve itself in the provision of integration services for refugees who want to stay in Romania for longer, regardless of whether they apply for legal protection or not.
Romania was prepared to provide the necessary support to transiting refugees, offering fairly basic conditions for accommodation and meals, but utterly lacking in the skills and the material, financial, and human resources meant for the integration of refugees and their medium and long-term stay in the country. In the absence of quick recognition of these needs, international foundations will withdraw over time, and we will face a real refugee crisis, in the sense of tens of thousands of people being stuck in a sort of Romanian „no man’s land”.
FONPC would like to thank to their institutional partners, FONPC’s members for all their efforts, as well as the donors and partners who supported these programs: CARE, ARC (Asociatia pentru Relatii Comunitare), La Voix De l’Enfant, French Embassy, BCR Romania.
Study conducted by the FONPC team: Daniela Maria Boșca and Cătălina Butincu
Authors of the report: Claudia Petrescu and Irina Opincaru
Supervision: Hortensia Pașalău
Translation: Gabriel Ioana