More than 14 million people have fled their homes since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the war shows no sign of ending. For World Refugee Day on 20 June, we are highlighting some of the issues faced by displaced Ukrainian people - and reaffirming that the support from the EBU and its Members will continue.
That support has manifested across a range of projects:
Air strikes on the TV towers in Kyiv and Rivne underlined the vulnerability of broadcast communications in a war zone. Together with our Members, we have coordinated the supply and delivery of critical equipment such as IP connectivity solutions, satellite phones, AM transmitters, and studio support to enable the uninterrupted transmission of vital news and information.
In these circumstances, being able to rely on accurate news sources is key. Many EBU Members have launched dedicated news services specifically for refugees in their own language, so that they can tap into vital updates from home, wherever in the world they are. Rai News in Italy has a daily news bulletin in Ukrainian; RTBF UKRAINE is a new web-based radio station for Ukrainian refugees in Belgium, with 100% of its content in Ukrainian; and Yle in Finland has a Ukrainian-language news service for providing the latest news bulletins in Ukrainian. Many public media outlets are also re-transmitting content directly from Ukrainian public broadcaster, UA/PBC for Ukrainian refugees.
Providing practical information to help people navigate the uncertainties of settling into new homes has also been a priority and has seen the launch of many dedicated programming and channels: GPB has a hotline for Ukrainians in Georgia; Czech Radio and Radio Prague have launched a podcast, ‘News for Ukrainians in Czech Republic’, that offers practical information for incomers. While ARD in Germany presents How To Deutschland Insta; Swedish Radio’s Ukrainian service for new arrivals includes practical advice on how to access medical care or education facilities for kids and RTP's online service helps with learning a new language.
For children, displacement through war is particularly traumatic. TVP in Poland has developed a site for kids from Ukraine which, as well as showing selected content in Ukrainian, also presents lessons in learning Polish; ARD and ZDF in Germany have included content in Ukrainian for children, including German-language learning programmes, and Czech Radio has recorded fairytales in Ukrainian.
Noel Curran, Director General, EBU, said “Few of us can understand the trauma of being forced to leave our homes, not knowing when or if we will return. I’m proud to belong to a community that has mobilized a wide range of practical support so quickly while ensuring trusted news and information continues to reach those who need it, wherever in the world they are. World Refugee Day is a moment to reflect on a situation that continues to need targeted support. And to reaffirm our commitment to giving it for as long as it takes.”