SITUATION AT A GLANCE
Deliveries of aid to Ukraine
The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta has opened a logistics center in Berehovo, which is continuously replenished from the central warehouse in Budapest. The Hungarian Charity Service is delivering 5 tons of donations a day to Ukraine, from durable food to diapers, from hygiene items to blankets, bandages and hospital beds. This week we have received the aid consignments from our Italian Maltese partner (CISOM) in Budapest and will gradually deliver them to the Ukrainian territory in the coming days.
In Berehovo, the new warehouse, which has become available in the past few days, receives Maltese shipments 1-2 times a day. Increasing the commodity stocks is imperative because the shops are no longer being restocked in the Transcarpathian region and the Maltese supply system is now delivering to the interior of Ukraine, where shortages are greater. The charity kitchen has reopened at the Maltese centre after a few days’ break, and lunch is being delivered to the elderly by bicycle to save costs.
On 13 March, a press duty service was set up at the Maltese relief point in Beregsurány, with the task of welcoming national and foreign correspondents, providing information on the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta’s activities and connecting visiting public figures, church and state leaders with the local team leader, if necessary. This way colleagues who are helping refugees do not have to miss work because of press activities. The press duty service was duly justified this weekend as the American Associated Press news agency, the editorial staff of several Hungarian channels and the staff of a Croatian TV channel were also on the spot.
At the relief point, there is a well-established system for providing care and assistance to refugees arriving here. The electricity network has been upgraded, as has the water supply for the refugees.
Southern Great Plain Region
Shelters for Ukrainian refugees have been set up in Soltvadkert, Zákányszék and Kiskunmaja, and several families are also accommodated in Kecskemét. The region’s leadership has allocated Maltese organisations to support the families staying in the shelters. 23 donation collection points are operating in the region, where generous donations of food and money are being received. The donations are collected in Kecskemét and transported from there to Berehovo. The municipality of Kecskemét has also purchased a camper van for the Maltese organisation in Berehovo to use as a mobile aid point.
Keleti railway station
The reception and assistance of refugees is still ongoing at the station, but the Charity Service of the Order of Malta has reorganised its assistance service in agreement with the organisations working on the ground. Malta no longer accepts and distributes donations on the spot, as food supplies and other commodities continue to be provided without Maltese involvement. The Charity Service has set up a waiting area, referred to as a “quiet corner”, for mothers with young children, elderly people and people with disabilities. The organisation is strengthening its interpreter and informational service. It also provides organised assistance in finding accommodation and also helps with transport for people staying in Budapest. It provides wheelchair, walkers and other medical supplies for people with reduced mobility and disabilities.
Budapest: Rimaszombati Road
The Charity Service of the Order of Malta has opened a new temporary shelter in Budapest, in the municipally owned, vacant dormitory on Rimaszombati Road. The hostel was cleaned and furnished on March 12th with the help of volunteers, and the first refugees arrived on March 13th. The building has the capacity to accommodate 35 people, with the capacity to add 20 extra beds if necessary. The shelter is staffed by 6 volunteers per day.
Budapest: Piroska Road
The 27 rooms in the guesthouse on Piroska Road are operating continually at full capacity, with refugees typically moving on after one or two nights.
Photos: Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta/ Bence Kovács; Árpád Csaba Majoros