International organizations praise Hungary's refugee aid efforts

The UN Refugee Agency UNHCR welcomed the fact that Hungary keeps its borders open to refugees from Ukraine.

Michael Spindelegger, head of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, said the Hungarian authorities are handling the migration crisis in the wake of the war in Ukraine “flawlessly”. Speaking in Beregsurány, near the Hungary-Ukraine border, on Wednesday, Spindelegger said that his delegation was studying the process of receiving and accommodating refugees, so as to gauge the kind of assistance ICMPD could provide. He said both civil organizations and individuals were working tirelessly to help refugees fleeing from war. He called Hungarian aid “a beautiful act of solidarity”. ICMPD, based in Vienna, is active in ninety countries, and carries out research on migration and makes recommendations to governments and agencies.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Woldenberg, head of the central European representative office of the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, on Tuesday said the organization welcomed the fact that Hungary keeps its borders open to refugees from Ukraine. After visiting an aid centre in Beregsurány, in north-eastern Hungary, in the company of state secretary Miklós Soltész, Woldenberg said it was “fantastic” that the community of the border village comprising a thousand people was able to look after three to four thousand refugees daily. Some two million have already left Ukraine and it is impossible to forecast the further escalation of the situation, she said. If the crisis lasts longer, the UNHCR is ready to support by all available means the countries neighbouring Ukraine to handle the refugee crisis, she added. The UNHCR has prepared a regional plan for managing the crisis which includes not only helping neighbouring countries but also has a special focus on the internal refugee crisis in Ukraine, she said. Soltész, who heads the national humanitarian coordination council, said the government would prepare by Wednesday a first-level proposal for the UNHCR High Commissioner’s Office on ways that the organisation could assist aid organisations and affected local governments. Some 200,000 refugees have already arrived in Hungary from Ukraine and the government provided HUF 3 billion (EUR 8m) to six charities involved in looking after the refugees, he added.

Photo credit: MTI