~ 150000

Hungarians in Ukraine

130 km

Frontier between Ukraine and Hungary


Humanitarian programs in Ukraine in the last 30 years

30 years

Humanitarian and development experience

Humanitarian access from all locations within Hungary and cross-border – MAP

I really appreciate our Hungarian friends’ longstanding efforts in humanitarian assistance and for everything the Hungarians have achieved.

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2012

Past activities of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta

Since its establishment, for nearly 30 years the organization has been closely monitoring the assistance provided to those living in the territories of Ukraine. The number of our humanitarian programs in this area reaches 100, in which we have been working with local Maltese, civil and faith-based organizations. Major cooperating organizations have been:

  • the Maltese organization in Berehove (Beregszász)
  • the regional Maltese center in Lviv (Lemberg)
  • the center in Ivano-Frankivsk
  • the Maltese group in Kyiv
  • Catholic Charities
  • and the Catholic Diocese of Mukachevo (Munkács)

Our present activities in Ukraine and along the border are divided into 3 parts

  1. Assistance inside Ukraine
    • provides support to families arriving in the nearby settlements, mainly through the Charity Service’s district office in the Berehovo
    • financial and material support for the Charity Service of the Order of Malta in the Berehovo district
    • distribution of food and hot drinks to those waiting in cars at the border
    • mobile equipments supplying refugees arriving to the western region of Transcarpathia from the central and eastern territories
  2. Relief work on both sides of the Ukrainian-Hungarian border, commuting between the two
    • according to the regulations of the state cluster which was established by the National Humanitarian Coordination Committee staff members of the Charity Service assist mainly at the Beregsurány and Tiszabecs border crossings
    • mobile medical, food and temporary housing assistance along the border with mobile equipment (tents, mobile medical clinics)
    • assistance with humanitarian coordination and communication services to incoming refugees at the border crossings
  3. Assistance inside Hungary
    • complex support of arriving refugees of mixed composition
    • supporting the transport of refugees within Hungary and preparing their onward journey
    • refugee assistance in the social institution network of HCSOM
    • preparation for integration in Hungary, if required, the details of which will be defined later

Staff and logistics competences in connection with the Ukranian crisis

  • HCSOM is the largest aid organization in Hungary and in the region
  • number of its full-time staff: 4500, number of volunteers 12000, number of social institutions 380
  • technical capacities: 5 ambulances, 15 vehicles providing general medical services, 5 buses providing medical assistance, 3 mobile kitchens, nearly 100 mixed-profile minibuses, 10 trucks and a sufficient amount of other mobile equipment
  • mobile camp with a capacity to accommodate 500 people, with tents, containers, sleeping and WASH facilities, as well as health care support
  • on-site guide point
  • in the immediate vicinity of the Ukrainian border (within 30 km) six of our charitable institutions/groups are in operation:
    • Gacsály residential institution for 160 people
    • Tarpa residential institution for 100 people
    • Fehérgyarmat institution providing day care assistance for 50 people
    • Vásárosnamény charity group warehouse + office
    • Szatmárcseke charity group warehouse + office
    • Kisvárda charity group warehouse + office

In summary

  • the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta has thirty years of experience in humanitarian and development activities in domestic and international natural disasters and man-made crises
  • we conduct our work in accordance with the Sphere program and the humanitarian standards of the CHS, supplemented by a separate autonomous operational plan. In recent days HCSOM shifted the elements of its work schedule to disaster management operations
  • the Hungarian government requested the full participation of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta and entrusted the organization with the reception, care and if necessary, the integration of the refugees
  • naturally, HCSOM began this work even without an explicit request
  • in the weeks leading up to the war we enhanced our logistics capacities at the frontier and dispatched our mobile devices to the areas close to the Ukranian-Hungarian border
  • locations of our institutional and logistics capacities along the border are: Vásárosnamény, Fehérgyarmat, Tarpa, Szatmárcseke, Gacsály. At these sites, minutes
    from the Ukrainian border both our warehousing and institutional capacities are robust
  • in line with its prior humanitarian emergency procedures the Maltese Charity Service gives particular attention to supporting children, the elderly, the infirmed and people with disabilities
  • The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta is involved in assisting the refugees arriving to the Transcarpathian regions, providing support, through the Charity Service operating in the Berehove district, particularly assisting families arriving to nearby settlements
  • Concurrently the Charity Service’s care institutions and charitable associations in Eastern Hungary are preparing to receive and support as necessary the refugee families arriving in Hungary
  • We redistributed monetary resources to the Maltese Charity Service operating in the Berehove district
  • We mobilized a significant number of technical equipment to the Ukrainian-Hungarian border, which will be transferred to the Maltese Charity Service in the Berehove district when needed

Refugees and their admission

  • HCSOM vacated a significant number of its facilities primarily close to the frontier: in the cities of Vásárosnamény, Fehérgyarmat, Tarpa, Szatmárcseke, Gacsály
  • We freed up capacities and space in all our regional institutions to accommodate and provide for the refugees expected to arrive
  • We relocated our mobile healthcare and transportation capacities close to the border, equipping them for mobile care
  • HCSOM was invited to carry out a 3, 6, 12, 18-month integration program in Hungary for refugees, regardless of nationality, who would like to continue their life within our country

Composition of refugees

The composition of the refugees in the Ukrainian conflict is not yet considered a typical refugee situation. At this time refugees can broadly be divided into three categories:

  1. Ukrainian citizens who arrive in Hungary with adequate financial assets, in many cases they enter by air and manage their stay on their own
  2. Ukrainian-Hungarian dual citizens who are accommodated by their relatives / friends in Hungary, managing their stay on their own
  3. finally conventional refugees, who are accommodated in the social institutions of HCSOM or other charitable organizations and their stay is financed through these associations

Also there are third-country nationals who travel onward within a very short time (typically immediately).


  • The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta has launched a fundraiser to support its humanitarian operations for the crisis in Ukraine
  • We accept donations online and through a special Hungarian call number: 1350

Ukraine crisis – helping refugees

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