State Secretary responsible for programmes aiding persecuted Christians Tristan Azbej announced on his social media page last week that Hungary will provide HUF 40 million in support to the humanitarian efforts of the Armenian Red Cross through the Hungary Helps Programme.
In his post, Azbej stated that he had been in continuous discussions with representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church in recent days regarding the situation in the region. Following these discussions and at the request of the Church, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has decided to
allocate 40 million forints through the Hungary Helps Programme to support the humanitarian projects of the Armenian Red Cross.
This support will be directed towards assisting Armenian nationals who have had to flee from the Karabakh region to Armenia due to the conflict that has been ongoing for three decades. Azbej emphasized that the recent armed escalation in the past weeks, followed by a deadly industrial disaster in Stepanakert, has forced tens of thousands of Armenian nationals to leave their homes and settle in Armenia, which poses a significant challenge to the Armenian authorities. The Hungarian assistance aims to contribute to the stability of the region by aiding the civilian victims of the conflict and the explosion at the fuel depot. Hungary maintains a clear and unequivocal position regarding the Karabakh conflict: peace is the only sustainable solution in the region, the State Secretary declared.
In recent years, the Hungary Helps Programme has supported several Armenian communities. They have provided support for church-based humanitarian programmes in Armenia and assisted Armenian Christian communities affected by the Syrian and Iraqi wars, as well as the economic crisis in Lebanon. These efforts have played a role in the reinvigoration of diplomatic relations between Hungary and Armenia in 2022, Azbej Tristan noted.
The Hungarian Interchurch Aid has also initiated a solidarity fundraising campaign
with the aim of assisting more than 100,000 individuals who are fleeing from Nagorno-Karabakh.
In a statement, the humanitarian organization reminded that the severe humanitarian crisis in recent weeks has forced over 100,000 ethnic Armenians to seek refuge in Armenia. The ongoing conflict, which have resulted in civilian casualties, and the looming threat of closure of escape routes have compelled the displaced population to abandon nearly all of their belongings.
In collaboration with a local church-affiliated Armenian partner organization, the Hungarian Interchurch Aid is dedicated to offering immediate aid to families arriving in the Armenian regions of Gegharkunik, Ararat, and Kotayk. Their efforts encompass the distribution of packages containing essential supplies such as food, medical items, and daily necessities. Additionally, they plan to extend cash assistance to approximately 1,000 refugees, providing them with much-needed flexibility during their vulnerable circumstances.
The Hungarian Lutheran Church has joined this solidarity initiative, calling on its congregations to collect financial donations to alleviate the suffering caused by this crisis.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MTI/Interchurch Aid/Hungary Helps