(JIS Jamaica) – Twenty-three Jamaican students have arrived safely by train in the city of Lviv Ukraine and are set to be in Poland by Sunday, February 27 as the Government of Jamaica fully funds their return to the island, according to a press release from Jamaica Information Service.
With the escalation of violence in Ukraine by Russia, the Jamaican Government moved to remove Jamaican students from the conflict zone.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith in a virtual press conference on 26 February announced that “the Government has been fully engaged with the students and their parents; disclosing that the Government managed to make arrangements for all the students to get to Poland, where further arrangements will be made for their return to Jamaica” despite the very difficult situation brewing between Russia and Ukraine.
Senator Johnson Smith explained that the Government will underwrite all the costs for the students’ transportation and accommodation until they arrive in Jamaica.
There is no loan involved in the arrangement, she said; adding that “Jamaica was working with our contacts in Ukraine and Poland to ensure that all the arrangements appropriate to the circumstances are made given that the movement of cash is difficult at this time.
Senator Johnson Smith also said that the Charge d’Affaires of the Jamaican Embassy in Berlin, Deniese Sealey has been dispatched to Poland and will receive the students upon their arrival.”
“The Jamaica Tourist Board in Germany is already engaged to finalise arrangements for air travel from Poland, through Frankfurt and on to Montego Bay, as soon as circumstances allow,” the Minister stated.
Senator Johnson Smith stated that three of the Jamaican students who were on the train to L’viv did not disembark.
“Our understanding is that they were advised by their parents to remain on the train but we are seeking to procure further information about their arrangements, including their final destination,” the Senator explained.
Meanwhile, Minister Johnson-Smith commended the decision of Poland and other European countries to temporarily lift Covid-19 restrictions for immigration requirements, in anticipation of the movement of persons.
“It is understood that the areas are crowded, lines are long and conditions are cold. Many are making this journey on foot, so challenges abound. We will continue to need your prayers for [our] nationals.” she stated.
Senator Johnson Smith said the city of L’viv is two hours away from the Polish border, but the names of the students have been given to the guards for their entry into the country.
Source: JIS Jamaica, Senator Johnson-Smith Press Conference