The largest national minority living in the capital city is the Chinese; while the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war led to the Ukrainians becoming the second largest minority in Budapest.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Hungary has been conducting regular surveys to gain valuable insights into the evolving needs of Ukrainian refugees returning to their homeland. The organisation’s quarterly Crossing to Ukraine reports shed light on crucial aspects of this complex situation.
The minister highlighted that Brussels has requested a further 98.5 billion euros in contributions from the member states, which is fifteen times the total annual personal income tax revenue in Hungary and roughly equals the entire annual Hungarian state budget.
Her first trip to Texas was motivated by the desire to ‘strengthen cooperation among conservatives across continents,’ the justice minister said, stressing that ‘We need to make friendships, get to know each other, and find common ground…While there might be differences in the details, when it comes to fundamental principles, I believe we understand each other.’
A new photo and video exhibition titled Am I My Brother’s Keeper, curated by Yitzhak Mais, a prominent Israeli historian and former director of Yad Vashem’s historical museum, captures the unique moments of international cooperation to help Ukrainian Jewish refugees.
Pope Francis thanked the Catholic church in Hungary for its charitable work. ‘You have built up a network that links pastoral workers, volunteers, parish and diocesan Caritas organizations, while also engaging prayer groups, communities of believers, and organisations belonging to other confessions, yet united in the ecumenical fellowship that is born of charity,’ he noted. ‘Thank you too, for having welcomed—not only with generosity but also with enthusiasm—so many refugees from Ukraine.’
The Hungary Helps Programme, however, does not only help persecuted Christians, but provides effective support in crisis areas and areas that are hit by man-made or natural disasters as well. Since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, Hungary has provided 130 billion forints (335.6 million euros) in aid to the victims of the war in Ukraine. Hungary also sent ten tons of relief supplies to Turkey immediately after the deadly earthquakes on 6 February and 50 million forints (132,000 euros) to Syria.
Pope Francis is set to arrive in Hungary on 28 April. During his visit, he will convey a strong message in support of peace in Ukraine, and will meet refugees, children struggling with illness, as well as Hungarian leaders.
The Hungarian foreign minister reminded that the rights of Transcarpathian Hungarians have been systematically curtailed in Ukraine since 2015, and the most recent example of this is that minority schools have become impossible to operate since September this year.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade was in Brussels to take part in the European Humanitarian Forum, where he talked about the excessive efforts Hungary has made to help over 1 million Ukrainian refugees, and another 1 million persecuted Christians around the world.
The Strasbourg-based Council of Europe welcomed the positive changes in Hungary since ECRI’s latest report adopted in 2015. However, ECRI also expressed concern about legislative changes that in their view ‘seriously undermine the human rights of LGBTI communities’ and about measures taken during the emergency period declared during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to recently released data, approximately two million Ukrainian refugees have fled to Hungary since the Russian aggression.