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Addressing a conference in New York, Hungarian President Katalin Novák said that the war in Ukraine affected Europe, which was also witnessing “demographic decline and challenges we have not faced before”. Speaking at the conference on the Sendai Framework Agreement, which was established by the UN to reduce the risks of disasters and increase resilience, the president said: “Hungary is a middle-sized country in the heart of Europe with a population of 10 million. We have no seas, nor significant natural resources. However, compared to our resources and local conditions, we have made outstanding efforts to help those in need,” the president said. She noted the coronavirus pandemic, wild fires, floods and the war in Ukraine among serious challenges faced by Europe.
Novák noted that since 2017 Hungary has sponsored some 300 humanitarian and rehabilitation projects worth over 100 million dollars in 54 countries under its Hungary Helps aid scheme. She said that in February Hungary was among the first countries on the scene helping rescue operations in a devastating earthquake that hit Türkiye, with a team of 167 specialists and 29 search dogs helping to save 35 lives. Also, Hungary delivered more than hundred tonnes of medicines and medical equipment to Türkiye and dispatched experts to help rebuild a cultural centre and a church. “We were there to help at the floods in Pakistan last year, the year before at the Croatian earthquake,” Novák said, highlighting the importance of helping one another beside “protecting ourselves”.
“A final question: whom do we want to save our planet for if not for the next generation? We need strong families, where we can teach our children to care for their own environment and to help those in need,” she said. Quoting the words of Pope Francis during his visit to Budapest last month, the Hungarian president said: “Let us give a future of hope, not war, to the next generations. A future of cradles, not of graves.” “Together, we can do even more in order to build a secure and sustainable future. Hungary is ready to help,” she said.