Thursday 24 March 2022

3rd UIC Refugee Task Force meeting held on 24 March 2022

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The 3rd UIC Refugee Task force meeting was attended remotely on 24 March 2022 by almost 60 participants from across Europe, with representatives from UIC member railways and partner organisations.

Marc Guigon, UIC Passenger Director, Coordinator Middle-East and Latin American Regions, Coordinator UIC Refugee and Covid-19 Task Forces, together with Vanessa Pérez Miranda, UIC Senior Passenger Advisor, welcomed the participants and gave an update of the situation with the number Ukrainian refugees who have left the country and what the railway community has been doing to provide humanitarian aid.

Daria Kardel, UIC Senior Security Advisor, gave feedback on the questionnaire that was sent to the Task Force members to monitor railway measures related to the crisis and to find out what the railways are doing to provide information and services to the refugees and what methods of are being used for communication.

A round table and series of presentations then followed to discuss the current situation per impacted country and company. This included updates from:

  • SNCF: Jérémie Pélerin, European Affairs Director, gave a summary of SNCF’s contribution to provide humanitarian aid in the shape of freight trains
  • DB Cargo: Theresa Daamen gave a short presentation on DB Cargo’s efforts to transport cargo to Ukraine as well as large donations in containers
  • UIC: Sandra Géhénot, Freight Director, explained how UIC will teaming up with UIRR, the International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport, to monitor the impact of this crisis on freight volumes, itineraries and interchangeability of corridors. She added the contact for this initiative on the UIC side will be Philip Van den bosch, UIC Freight Advisor
  • PKP: Magdalena Kujacińska representing Polish Railways gave a presentation on the current situation and how it affects Poland, with two million refugees now on Polish territory. She described what the railways are doing to help the refugees in stations, the services that are being provided such as information and medical stands as well as tents being set up on platforms with hot meals and drinks for those who want to eat and rest before continuing their journey
  • CER: Blaž Pongračič, Senior Policy Adviser Passenger, gave a presentation on CER’s efforts to communicate through press releases and social media engagement, liaise with the EU institutions and explore areas of cooperation, as well as gather information on humanitarian initiatives by European railways to find out how the railways are communicating on the crisis

In addition, short updates and summaries were given by member representatives from, among others:

  • the Netherlands
  • Hungary
  • Estonia
  • Greece
  • UK
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Latvia

Members are encouraged to share their thoughts, either by writing to the internal UIC Task Force Refugee team or by posting in the UIC Extranet at this link:

A Task Force LinkedIn group is open to members. Feel free to join the group and share your thoughts:

The next Task Force Refugee web-conference is scheduled to take place on Thursday 31 March 2022.

For any further questions or proposals for contributions to these Task Force meetings, please email:

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