The Portuguese airline EuroAtlantic Airways will make the new flight for UAPT, departing from Lisbon on April 21, bound to Lublin, Poland.

The plane will leave Lisbon with about 15 tonnes of medicines and generators to help refugees who are on the Polish border and for those who remain in conflict areas, returning on the same day with 263 Ukrainian refugees, who are already living in a Polish reception centre in Lublin, announced Iryna Shkira, one of the association's volunteers.

Iryna Shkira added that “humanitarian aid then goes to Lviv”.

Close to the Polish border, the city of Lviv has been spared by Russian forces, but there have been a number of attacks in the surroundings. Lviv is one of the main corridors of escape for displaced people and refugees from areas most affected by the war.

This will be the fifth flight organised by the association, born out of the will of a group of people who met in a protest in front of the Russian embassy in Lisbon.

The four humanitarian flights carried out so far have brought 1,012 refugees to Portugal, mostly women, children, the elderly and some people with disabilities, since most men were mobilised for the war.

Choosing Portugal

The association's experience reveals that about half of the refugees chose Portugal because they have family or friends, ending up staying in their homes.

After the first flight, on March 10, “everything became much easier”, recalled the volunteer. On the third trip, waiting lists began to appear: “Our flights fill up in minutes. We had about a thousand people on the waiting list”, said Iryna Shkira, adding that the association maintains contact with the people on the list and some ended up coming by bus.

In Portugal, the association's 60 or so volunteers try to accompany the families from the moment they arrive: “We end up being a kind of mentor to help with whatever it takes”, said Iryna Shkira.


There is help to deal with documentation, to arrange accommodation, social support, schools, to learn Portuguese or English and even to find a job, but, according to the volunteer, the most difficult thing at the moment is recovering from the trauma.

“It is only after a few weeks that people begin to realise that they are safe. Most are from the eastern part of Ukraine, which is the area most affected by the war and therefore they need psychological support”, explained Iryna Shkira, guaranteeing that this support is being given.

Through various partnerships, the association managed to arrange reception centers in Leiria, Azambuja, Mafra, Fundão and Viseu, but there are also those who stay with people who have decided to give up their homes.

Best example

“Portugal is one of Europe's best examples of welcoming. The people we have been following tell us that although Portugal has a little lower social support, there is no comparison in the way they are received here, with so much affection. Portugal is one of the best examples”, assured Iryna Shkira.