The Russian attack on Ukraine has shocked the whole world. Hundreds of thousands of people have already fled the country, and in the first few days, more than 85,000 refugees arrived in Hungary. Charitable non-governmental or aid organizations immediately mobilized to help those who have left their homes, hopefully only temporarily. In the worst-case scenario, up to 600,000 Ukrainian refugees are expected to arrive in the coming period. We have summarized for you where and how you can help those in need.
This article was originally published on our sister-site, Ungarn Heute. Translated by Júlia Tar.
There are numerous aid organizations in Hungary that mobilized right after the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. And there are hundreds or thousands of civilian Hungarians who immediately wanted to offer their help. However, it is often difficult to combine good intentions and usefulness. We also have many readers who have already contacted us to convey their willingness to help. Now we have put together the largest organizations so that you can record where and with what donations you can help the refugees from Ukraine. For us Hungarians, this is a very important issue, not only because Ukraine is one of our neighboring countries, but also because there is a significant number of ethnic Hungarians living in the country.
Already on Friday evening, the second day after the Russian attack on Ukraine, government spokeswoman Alexandra Szentkirályi announced on Facebook a national aid line to help refugees. The campaign is called Bridge for the Transcarpathia. The number 1357 can be reached from Saturday, each call costs 500 forints (1.35 euros). An account number for donations has also been created: 11711711-222222.
The Hungarian Red Cross has also launched a fundraising campaign. You can call 1359 or transfer money to the account 10405004-00026548-00000009 (please write humanitarian crisis in the message section).
The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta has prepared its facilities in eastern Hungary to receive refugees from Ukraine. They will not set up a central refugee camp with a large number of refugees: Maltese facilities will accommodate the arrivals in the spaces they have opened for this purpose.
We don’t have an estimate of the number of refugees expected, but as spaces fill up, our facilities will continue to build capacity by creating additional temporary housing.
They also said that to their knowledge, the people who have arrived in Hungary so far have stayed with relatives living in Hungary. They are also present in Berehovo (Ukraine) and are helping those who are there, especially those who have stayed despite the conditions and the closure of public services. Donations are welcome at the account number 11784009-20200776, on the website adomanyozz.hu, or at the number 1350.
You can also support the Hungarian Ecumenical Charity on this page (you can also donate here are the account numbers; and you can also call the donation hotline 1353). Besides Berehovo, the organization is also present in Lviv.
You can join the Hungarian Baptist Aid‘s fundraising campaign by calling the donation hotline 1355 (300 HUF) or transferring money to the account 10918001-555555-555555 (Ukraine), and there is also a special website. Emergency aid worth 3.5 million forints has already been delivered to partners in Transcarpathia, and food and other supplies have been diverted from the Transdanubian center to the east.
The Facebook page of Heti betevő
a guide on how to donate and help. This is almost similar for all crisis situations. The main points are as follows:
- First of all, you should check with aid organizations about what exactly is needed on the ground: For example, if one asks for clothes somewhere, give them exactly what they need! If they need a winter coat, summer clothes are not a help, but a nuisance that aid organizations have to deal with.
- Do not give toys, books, clothes, only in case people specifically ask for them.
- When it comes to food, make sure you send non-perishable foods but those that can be consumed without further ado, such as canned goods, chocolate, and energy bars. Dry pasta and oil do not spoil, but they are useless without a kitchen.
- Wash all textiles (coats, blankets, pillows) before you give them away.
- Always listen to aid organizations that have experience in coordinating donations. It is important that aid in crisis situations is organized so that it reaches where it is needed most.
- +1. PRINCIPAL AND perhaps MOST IMPORTANT: Only give things that you would eat/wear/use.
- These people lived just like you and I did a few days ago.
The Hungarian Reformed Church Aid sent 800 kilograms of food aid to Berehovo (Beregszász) in Ukraine early Friday morning. The organization is also ready to receive those who seek refuge in Hungary. They can immediately provide temporary accommodation for 60 people on their own premises, with 2000 food packages and blankets, 100 guest beds, camp kitchens and kitchen utensils already available, as well as warm clothing if needed. In parallel, the charity service has launched a nationwide fundraising campaign to help those in need.
Donations are welcome by calling 1358, visiting the appropriate website, or calling account number 10702019-85008898-51100005 (notice: National Coalition).
UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, is also on the ground and reports that 7.5 million Ukrainian children are currently at risk. As they write:
In the neighboring country, 7.5 million children are currently at risk. In the conflict, which has been ongoing for eight years, 1.6 million people have been displaced so far and tens of thousands of civilians have been seriously injured or killed. As the fighting escalates, the number of refugees and people in need of emergency assistance could increase significantly. UNICEF continues to help on the ground, supporting health services, food, access to clean water, immunization, education, and protection for children and their families.”
“To organize our work, we need you,” said the organization, which expects above all a financial contribution “to send medical teams, food, water, and clothing to the refugees, who can shelter in tents with mattresses and blankets.”
Donations to the United Nations Ukraine Humanitarian Fund can also be made through this website in the amounts of $30, $75, $100, and $200 ($1 is currently equivalent to about 330 forints). This UN fund provides food aid or shelter for the most vulnerable populations.
Budapest “Bike Mafia” is cooperating with the organization Age of Hope to set up a “soup kitchen” on the Ukrainian border, where they will be able to cook, prepare sandwiches and tea for those in need, who will also receive foil and sleeping bags to protect them from the cold. As they write, the following are needed (no clothes, please): packaged ready-made sandwiches, hot food in cans, juices, insulating foils, blankets, sleeping bags, thermos flasks, baby care items, wet wipes, and cleaning products. It is recommended to contact us before you want to donate anything!
Migration Aid wrote the following on their official Facebook page:
- Seeking volunteers to help in the direct care of refugees.
- Seeking landowners in settlements near the Ukrainian border who are willing to temporarily store donations in a frost-free place.
- Volunteers who speak Ukrainian or Russian and can occasionally help with translations.
- Volunteers willing to help with online organization and administrative work are also welcome.
Source: Azonnali, 24.hu
Featured image via Police.hu