The Hungary Helps agency opened its first staffed representative office in Africa two weeks ago, in N’Djamena, the capital city of Chad, state secretary for the aid of persecuted Christians and the Hungary Helps Program said. Tristan Azbej told a conference dubbed Synergy between the EU and the Sub-Sahara region organised by the Sustainable Development Knowledge Centre that Hungarians owe solidarity and responsibility for Africa and its people. The Hungarian government recognised the significance of the continent ten years ago and launched its policy of opening to the south, he added.
Commenting on the Hungary Helps programme, he said Hungarian donations had been sent to more than 50 countries, 18 of which were in the Sub-Sahara region. Diplomatic presence is currently being increased in the region because Hungary wants to catch up on delays in the opening to the south scheme. Compared to two Hungarian diplomatic representative offices in the Sub-Sahara region in 2010, there are currently seven, he added.
Azbej announced at the event that the Hungary Helps Agency was inviting applications for Hungarian civil organisations to support their humanitarian and development activities in Africa. Commenting on the war conflicts in the Sahel, he said that if the region “fails and falls into chaos”, some 100 million refugees might set off, causing migratory pressure in Europe.
Concerning the tasks of the new representative office in N’Djamena, he said Hungary follows the principle that the help offered is based on direct personal relations, and the office will seek to assess the demands of the people that need help.