Britain and Poland on Tuesday announced plans to build two temporary villages in Ukraine with housing for people who have been forced to flee their homes due to Russia’s invasion.
London pledged up to 10 million pounds (or about $12.3 million) to provide shelter and power for more than 700 displaced Ukrainians, the UK government said in a statement announcing its new partnership with Warsaw.
The two accommodation villages will be built in Lviv in western Ukraine and Poltava in the east, the statement said, adding the allies would also provide 2.6 million pounds ($3.2 million) worth of generators “to support up to 450,000 people via schools, hospitals and community centers in re-taken and frontline areas, including Kharkiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv, Odesa and Kherson.”
The announcement comes as an ongoing Russian assault on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has left millions of people without access to electricity, water and central heating.
“Widespread power cuts, some lasting eight to twelve hours a day, have forced families to resort to desperate measures for survival, like melting snow for water and heating bricks for warmth,” the government statement said.
It added the UK and Poland would also donate up to 2.5 million pounds ($3.1 million) to the Ukrainian Red Cross “to support those living through extreme cold in harsh winter conditions.”
“For the past year, Putin has continued to target civilian homes and infrastructure, with the Ukrainian people paying a heavy price. This new UK-Poland partnership will help bring light, heat and homes to those most in need,” UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly was quoted as saying.
“From the pages of the Polish history we know that Ukraine is fighting not only for their freedom but also for our freedom. There is no free Europe without free Ukraine,” Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said, according to the statement.
In response to the announcement, Mayor of Lviv Andriy Sadovyy said that “hundreds of people have got a chance for a new life, because Russia took away their old one.”