On 4 March 2022, the Argentine government deployed a delegation of White Helmets, a civilian humanitarian aid organization under the auspices of the Argentine Foreign Ministry, to Warsaw, capital of Poland, to facilitate the departure of Latin American citizens who had to flee Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.
Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, together with the foreign ministries of several countries of the hemisphere, coordinated the mission for the safe and orderly exit of their citizens.
The members of the White Helmets team, headed by Esteban Chalá, provide humanitarian aid on the border between Ukraine and Poland. In statements to the Argentine news site Infobae, Chalá said that they assist refugees escaping from areas invaded by the Russians. A group of Argentines was relocated to a hotel in Warsaw “so that they can rest and recover,” he said.
Argentine ambassadors in Ukraine, Elena Mikusinski; and in Poland, Ana María Ramírez, coordinate the relief work to deploy the mission 37 kilometers from the border crossing, in the city of Ruda Rózaniecka, reported the Argentine news site El Cronista.
Among others, “the White Helmets assisted a young man who was working in Ukraine, in Kiev,” reported Infobae. The young Argentine spent four days sheltering with 15,000 other people in a subway station to protect themselves from the shelling.
“It’s an advanced mission given the situation we are facing today,” said Sabina Frederic, head of the White Helmets, to Argentine radio station La Red. Some 4 million people have fled Ukraine as of mid-March, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said.
The White Helmets activated a mobile consulate with official staff and specialized volunteers. The objective is to facilitate the processing of documents for Latin Americans, provide psychological support, and expedite logistics means for travel to their destination.
On March 18, the Argentine Foreign Ministry announced that it had sent a plane to Poland with 2.5 tons of humanitarian aid donated by the White Helmets. The donation included blankets, cots, and first aid kits. “These supplies meet the queries that were made to Ukrainian and Polish authorities from Argentina regarding the needs at this moment for refugees,” the Ministry added.