Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto – Photo: Facebook

Hungary providing jobs, education for refugees

Szijjarto: Hungary to continue Ukrainian aid programme as long as needed

Hungary is conducting its largest ever humanitarian aid programme in history to support war-torn Ukraine and will continue it as long as it is needed, the foreign minister said in parliament on Tuesday.

Responding to remarks in the national assembly by Liliana Grexa, the representative of the Ukrainian national minority in Hungary, Peter Szijjarto said the Hungarian government had made clear its position immediately after the outbreak of the war. It condemned the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, stood by Ukraine and will continue to do so and provide all available help to people who have been forced to flee the war, he said.

Szijjarto noted that some 740,000 refugees had arrived in Hungary directly or indirectly from Ukraine. Hungarian authorities have catered for all of them, Szijjarto said, adding those planning to stay in the country over a longer period of time are receiving help in finding a job and in the schooling of their children. “This is our moral and legal duty,” he said.

Szijjarto noted that from Hungary 2,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid had been delivered to Ukraine and deliveries would continue as long as they are needed.

The Hungarian government has in addition offered a support package worth 37 million euros to help improve the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. The package includes rebuilding a school near Borodyanka (Borogyanka) in partnership with the Ecumenical Charity once it receives the permits from Ukrainian authorities. It also includes transferring 44 minors treated in local hospitals in the Chernihiv province to the Budapest Heim Pal Hospital depending on the security situation which is unpredictable because of the airstrikes. Hungary has also offered to provide medical treatment for injured soldiers without putting any limit on their number, should Ukrainian authorities ask for this form of help. Hungary has also made preparations to transport mobile homes to Transcarpathia for internal refugees and has offered state scholarships to 1,000 Ukrainian students in Hungarian higher education, the foreign minister said.

Hungary providing jobs, education for refugees

So far more than 750,000 people have fled Ukraine through Hungary, and those that stay are being helped to find jobs, while children are being placed in schools, government spokeswoman Alexandra Szentkiralyi wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. Szentkiralyi said Hungary’s standpoint remained the same: “This is not our war but since the start of war between Russia and Ukraine, we have been providing every possible help to those who come to us.”

More than 1,600 children from Ukraine are studying in Hungarian schools, and Hungary is providing special language learning opportunities if needed.

She said it was vital that adults are able to find a job, and the government is contributing to the costs of employment, housing and travel. Employers have so far applied for support worth 600 million forints (EUR 1.54m) in respect of around 900 Ukrainian refugees, and relevant decisions have been made in more than 500 cases, she added.

More than 8,000 Ukrainian citizens have been licensed for employment, with almost 100 involved in public employment, the spokeswoman said.

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