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Poland: NGOs providing integration support to immigrants face serious financial problems

Topic

The Ministry of the Interior and Administration had still not allocated AMIF funds at the end of September 2017. The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund is the main source of financing for NGOs carrying out integration projects targeted at foreigners. NGOs try to cope through other funding sources (e.g. private or municipality funds) or by starting revenue generating activities to finance to help immigrants. Others limit costs by reducing the number of employees, lowering wages or providing less assistance.

According to a report by the Association for Legal Intervention and the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, suspending AMIF funds and redirecting them to province governors (who may but do not have to invite NGOs to apply for these funds) has caused serious problems:

  • significant reduction of legal and integration support for foreigners,
  • limited possibility to monitor the observance of foreigners rights,
  • lack of continuity and stability in integration activities carried out,
  • a breakdown of qualified teams consisting of lawyers, psychologists, integration advisers, interpreters, etc.

Currently, integration support offered by state institutions is available only to foreigners granted international protection (refugee status or subsidiary protection) within the framework of a one-year individual integration programme. Other categories of foreigners can only count on integration support from NGOs.