The city of Paris is working to offer a network of arrangements for Ukrainians arriving in the capital.
— Paris (@Paris) March 3, 2022
A first port of call should be the Ukraine Emergency Centre, at 39, rue des cheminots in the city’s 18th arrondissement.
Run by France Terre d’Asile, a non-profit organisation that supports asylum seekers and advocates for asylum rights, staff at the centre will be able to assess the specific needs of refugees and their families and ensure they get the help and support they need.
A number of venues around the city are already welcoming Ukrainian refugees, and offering a range of personal, administrative, and legal support services.
In addition, nurseries and schools in Paris will be available to accommodate children of refugee families, and school canteens will serve food for free. Counselling and psychological support to children and their families will be available.
Travelling through France to the UK
Ukrainian refugees planning to travel through France to the UK as they flee the Russian invasion should travel to capital Paris, rather than ports like Calais.
The reason for this is the the UK government has refused to waive visa rules, and Ukrainians who try to travel to the UK without a valid visa will be turned back.
The process of getting a visa – which are only issued in certain circumstances, mostly to people who already have family in the UK – involves an in-person interview at the Visa Application Centre, which is in Paris.
The British Embassy told The Local: “Ukrainian nationals seeking to travel to the UK should call the Home Office on +44 300 3032785.
“The visa application process includes attending an appointment at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). The VAC in France is in Paris: details are given when the appointment is booked.”
How people across France can help Ukraine refugees
The Ministry of the Interior has set up a web page for individuals in France who want to help refugees. It offers advice for those who want to offer temporary accommodation, as well as other, equally valuable, aid to help Ukrainians who plan to stay in France for some time.
Croix rouge française – conflit Ukraine 2022.
Croix Rouge française CS 20011
59895 Lille Cedex 9
In Paris, mairies in all arrondissements will be open on Saturday to collect donations. The list of items that are urgently needed include:
- Hygiene products such as shower gel and shampoo;
- Period products;
- First aid material, such as plasters and bandages;
- Dry foodstuffs including pasta, rice, packet soup, tea, instant coffee;
Check with the website of the arrondissement’s mairie for items that are specifically wanted.
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Many Ukrainians have English, rather than French, as a second language. Any English-speakers in Paris willing and able to volunteer their time to help refugees should first contact Fabrique de la Solidarité.
The City of Paris has released exceptional emergency aid of €1 million to help associations in the capital organising the collection and delivery of food and basic necessities to Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
Premises have been made available for storage of donated products that are awaiting transport.