Due to the war, a significant number of people are already fleeing Ukraine. The UN currently estimates that four million refugees could soon seek protection in neighbouring countries and beyond. Switzerland, too, is already the destination of refugee movements, with an increasing number of Ukrainian nationals travelling to Switzerland due to the visa waiver, albeit still to a much lesser extent than to the countries directly bordering Ukraine.
The Federal Commission on Migration (FCM) believes that Switzerland has a responsibility to help deal with the large movements of refugees and the humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine war. It therefore recommends that the Federal Council admit people in need of protection from Ukraine by granting them protection status S. As was already the case in 1999 during the war in former Yugoslavia, this admission should take place very quickly and generously.
Whilst we wait for the government to give the green light to accept Ukrainian refugees, we have compile a list of various organisations for you.
Here are organisations that are helping both on the ground and to stay informed.
This organisation shares information for refugees. People of Ukrainian nationality do not need a visa to come to Switzerland, they can stay legally for up to 90 days, and can apply for asylum at any point.
Global citizen is a website which shares information on how to help through international organisations and also shares a list of good information sources.
If you would like to do something to help the people fleeing the war in Ukraine, here is a list of organisations you can donate to either monetarily or with goods:
This is a list of 20 Swiss organisations with project in or around the Ukraine who are seeking donations: https://spenden.stiftungschweiz.ch/t/spenden-ukraine
Unicef focuses on helping children.
This organisation is looking for men, women, children and baby clothing, shoes, blankets, towels, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. The collection will take place on March 5. https://www.helfensiehelfen.ch/aktuelles/
The Ukrainian embassy in Switzerland is looking for the following goods to be delivered at the end of this week to the Ukraine: portable defibrillators, tourniquet to stop arterial bleeding, pressure bandages / Israeli bandage / IDF dressing,occlusion bandages,antiseptics,sodium chloride Na (in plastic),disinfectant AHD 2000, infusion stands, peripheral venous catheters, medical suture material, basic surgical instruments (vascular clamps, forceps, scalpels, etc.) for primary wound care, bandages, painkillers, first aid kits, ambulance.
If you have or work for a company that maybe has access to these kind of supplies then please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, the supplies can be dropped off at the embassy in Bern, Monday through Friday from 9.00 to 16.00.
If you would like to offer a room to a refugee these three campaigns are organising lists to hand over to refugee organisations once that the first refugees arrive in the country.
If you know of other efforts please reach out to us so that we can add them to this list.