The wave of offers of help that washed through cities and municipalities after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also included the Bündnis Hamburger Flüchtlingsinitiativen. At the same time as #Unterkunft Ukraine, which had just come together in response to the situation, the Bündnis Hamburger Flüchtlingsinitiativen also sent out a press appeal for the provision of private housing.

Since then, in parallel to #Unterkunft Ukraine, they have been arranging housing for refugees in Hamburg with equally overwhelming success.

“The solidarity towards Ukrainians* is great – but there should be no first and second class refugees,” says BHFI coordinator Manfred Ossenbeck. He is referring to both third-country nationals and those who have already fled in recent years. “As a long-standing alliance for refugee assistance, it is important for us to observe the development regarding a fair distribution of assistance offers. And to make the mediation process better now”

For more effective mediation processes, Manfred spearheaded a partnership between BHFI, which has coordinated local initiatives since 2016, and #Unterkunft Ukraine.

For refugee assistance, cooperation is essential; as an alliance, the organization operates solely through cooperative work. Bringing together the offers of help and initiatives is crucial. “At the moment, it is very problematic that there are many small, private initiatives, as they are more uncoordinated. With a single large pool of offers, we could offer better mediation”

That’s why the Alliance of Hamburg Refugee Initiatives and #Unterkunft Ukraine want to pool their data. “At the moment, if we don’t find anything suitable in our data collections, we search in the data pools of #Unterkunft Ukraine,” Manfred explains. “In the future, both organizations will then be able to access all data. This way, we respond to the many double enrollees and support each other. Cooperation is the most effective way to help.”

written by Anika Krbetschek