Closure of UNICEF and UNHCR Blue Dot Hubs in Poland

Blue Dot Hubs are safe spaces where newly arrived refugees from Ukraine to Poland can seek help and find information.

22 December 2023
Blue Dot at Krakow Rail Station
UNICEF/Reklajtis
Blue Dot at Krakow Rail Station

Warsaw, 22 December 2023 - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency jointly announce the phased closure of Blue Dot centres in Poland, which are safe spaces providing essential support to women and children since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Blue Dots will conclude activities by 31 December 2023. This transition is a result of evolving refugee needs and the commitment to creating more sustainable support mechanisms.

Blue Dots were first launched in Poland in March 2022 as safe spaces located in transit areas where refugees need assistance the most, including border crossing points, train stations, cash enrolment centres, and accommodation centres. These temporary facilities played a critical role in delivering emergency assistance, coordinating protection services, and ensuring access to information, legal aid, mental health support, and child protection services. Every third Ukrainian who crossed Ukrainian-Polish border had received support in a Blue Dot.  

Since March 2022, nearly 950,000 services have been provided to children and families fleeing war in Ukraine at Blue Dot Support Hubs. This includes mental health and psychosocial support, the use of child-friendly spaces, child protection referrals and information on healthcare, education, housing, and transportation.   

Blue Dot in Kraków, Poland
UNICEF/Pospiszyl
Blue Dot in Kraków, Poland

Blue Dots were led by UNICEF and UNHCR and as the situation stabilized, their number was gradually reduced. The Polish Scouting and Guiding Association (ZHP), Premiere Urgence International (PUI) and Danish Refugee Council (DRC) were also crucial partners in the project, managing the Blue Dot Hubs from an operational perspective in partnership with local authorities.  

With changing needs within the refugee community and the prolonged nature of the conflict, the focus during past months was towards shifting to a more sustainable approach through Community Centers, managed in cooperation with municipalities and local organizations, ensuring community empowerment and long-term sustainability. These centers offer similar services to those provided by Blue Dots and create spaces for community cohesion activities, education, and livelihood programs. 

UNHCR and UNICEF appreciate the support of partners, local authorities, donors, and the refugee community in this transitional phase leading to a better fulfillment of the needs of the most vulnerable. We remain committed to working with local partners and authorities to continue supporting initiatives that contribute to the well-being of refugees of different age, gender, and from diverse backgrounds.

 

 

The information and referrals for refugees currently staying in Poland will continue to be available at UNHCR’s Help website at https://help.unhcr.org/poland/ and UNICEF’s Spilno website at www.spilnoinpl.org. The website also includes helpline numbers that provide immediate assistance.  

 

For additional information, please contact:

 

UNHCR: Tarik Argaz, Communications Officer: argaz@unhcr.org. +48 734 827 867

UNICEF: Dr. Monika Kacprzak, Communication Specialist, mkacprzak@unicef.org, +48 604 226 866

Media contacts

Monika Kacprzak
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Refugee Response Office in Poland
Tel: (+48) 604 226 866

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