Lebanon deployed on Sunday new measures to evacuate its nationals from Ukraine following reports of the aggravating conflicts and of some Lebanese trapped in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
The Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Bassam Mawlawi, assigned the Ministry’s task force to coordinate with both the Lebanese Red Cross and the International Red Cross in Ukraine to facilitate Lebanese citizens’ entrance to Poland and Romania.
Minister Mawlawi said that shelters will be available for them with the support of a Lebanese businessman in Poland.
The Secretary-General of the Higher Relief Committee Maj. Gen Mohamed Kheir said in a statement that an agreement with the Polish authorities was made for the “Friendship Association with Children Center” in Warsaw to house Lebanese fleeing Ukraine, “in preparation for their evacuation and return to Lebanon.”
The said center can be contacted on: (22) 7826843 – 509 673 133 or via its website Strona Glowna – ICOWT, according to Maj. Gen Kheir.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati then commissioned the high relief authorities to make preparations for the evacuation of Lebanese nationals from Ukraine at a later date.
Videos by Lebanese in Ukraine circulated on social media over the weekend showing them trying to cross the borders into neighboring countries by foot and by car.
Some universities have provided their buses, arranging the evacuations of their students, among them Lebanese who have made it out safely.
It is to note that the delayed evacuations of people seeking refuge out of warring Ukraine these past days have been messy and chaotic, as seen in countless visual reports by the international media stream and international organizations.
The Lebanese Embassy in Warsaw – Poland issued a statement calling the Lebanese residing in Ukraine and wishing to enter the Polish territory “to send a copy of their passport and a copy of their residence in Ukraine to the Lebanese Embassy in Warsaw on the following number: 0048664094748 (WhatsApp), before reaching the Ukrainian-Polish border, so the embassy may inform the Polish border guards of their names and facilitate their obtaining of an entry visa to Poland.”
The waiting time at the border with Poland, as reported, “ranges between 24 and 60 hours due to the large influx of Ukrainians, which means a long waiting period that must be taken into account in terms of food supply and others.”
The Embassy of Poland in Beirut issued that, under Article 32 of The Act on Foreigners, Polish officers at the border may allow the Lebanese to enter Poland subject that 1) they present a valid passport, and 2) they say that they are specifically escaping the war in Ukraine.
There are also several entities providing help to Lebanese needing to evacuate: