March 9, 2022
Messe Frankfurt prepares for Ukraine refugees
The Russian invasion of Ukraine poses an unprecedented threat to peaceful coexistence in Europe. Messe Frankfurt supports all sanction measures taken by the Federal Government. Against this backdrop, the Messe Frankfurt Board of Management decided to suspend events of its subsidiary Messe Frankfurt RUS until further notice. It has also announced that it is taking action to help refugees from Ukraine.
More and more people seeking protection from Ukraine are currently arriving in Frankfurt by train, bus, plane or private car. The city is the central contact point for refugees in Hesse. For days, those responsible have been preparing intensively to prevent a situation like the one in Berlin. A corresponding operational order from the state to the city’s lower disaster control authority to create a first aid centre was issued on Wednesday.
A first aid center with emergency accommodation for refugees from Ukraine is being built at Messe Frankfurt. In Hall 1 on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds, there will be a first port of call where everything necessary will be provided until the people can be placed in longer-term accommodation throughout Hesse. A contract to this effect was concluded with the city at short notice and without red tape.
“The people fleeing to us from Ukraine need our help. They must be able to trust that our declarations of solidarity are not just lip service,” said Peter Feldmann, Lord Mayor of the City of Frankfurt. “That is why the first aid centre that we are setting up at short notice at our trade fair is so important. Frankfurt is a cosmopolitan city that has become a second home for many refugees in its history. Let’s show the people from Ukraine that they are welcome here.”
The emergency shelter will initially be set up in Hall 1.1 and can also be extended to the second level, Hall 1.2, if required.
“I am pleased that the state has taken up my suggestion that the distribution of people in Hesse should also be managed from Frankfurt and has given us the corresponding operational order,” said Frankfurt’s head of social affairs Elke Voitl.
“This saves the refugees further journeys after the exhausting flight. In our experience so far, most people arrive here traumatized, very exhausted and often hungry,” said the city councillor.
“About half of those seeking protection are children and young people. For them, it is particularly important to quickly have a protected and safe place to breathe again. We want to create this here in Frankfurt with the fair near the main railway station, together with all our forces,” said Elke Voitl.
The shelter is run by the German Red Cross (DRK) and the Arbeiter-Samariter Bund (ASB). Messe Frankfurt is responsible for the construction and other services within the accommodation.
“We have quickly and unbureaucratic set up emergency accommodation on our exhibition grounds in Hall 1, as immediate assistance is required,” said Uwe Behm, the Member of the Board of Management of Messe Frankfurt responsible for the exhibition grounds. “This has become a first point of contact or intermediate station to provide people who have had to flee Ukraine with everything they need until they can be placed in longer-term accommodation.”
In addition to the corresponding preparations for the infrastructure on the exhibition grounds, Fairconstruction, a subsidiary of Messe Frankfurt, is helping to equip two sports halls for refugees in Frankfurt with stand construction materials.