The Interior Ministry said work on the wall will begin late in December and finish in the first half of 2022 as thousands of migrants and refugees attempt to cross the border from Belarus.

Construction of the border wall will begin in December and will be completed in the first half of next year.
Construction of the border wall will begin in December and will be completed in the first half of next year. (AP)

Poland has decided to start building a wall along its border with Belarus in December and complete the work in the first half of next year, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

"The undertaking which we must carry out is absolutely strategic and priority investment for security of the nation and its citizens," Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said on Monday.

The ministry said the contracts would be signed by December 15 and work on the border wall itself would begin later in the month, with builders working 24 hours a day on three shifts.

The wall will cost an estimated $407 million and is planned to stretch 180 kilometres, around half the total length of the Poland-Belarus border.

Parliament gave its go-ahead for the wall last month.

READ MORE: Polish police: Asylum seekers break through Belarus border

Growing border tensions 

Thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East, have crossed or tried to cross the Poland-Belarus border since the summer.

Poland has responded to the influx by sending thousands of soldiers to the border and implementing a state of emergency there, as well as hastily building a razor-wire fence.

Warsaw has drawn sharp criticism for its hardline approach to the crisis that has seen guards routinely push back migrants and refugees on the border. 

Non-governmental organisations have warned of increasingly dangerous conditions.

READ MORE: EU, Belarus discuss migrant crisis as humanitarian situation worsens

Source: AFP