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Hungary spent over 70 million euros on humanitarian aid worldwide last year, and is ready to continue to contribute to international efforts, the foreign minister said in Brussels. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the European Humanitarian Forum, Péter Szijjártó said humanity was facing a global humanitarian disaster, mainly due to “one of the worse security situations of the past couple of decades”. Some 30 countries and regions are currently suffering armed conflict, the gravest of them raging in Ukraine and the Gaza strip, Szijjártó said. As a neighbour of Ukraine, Hungary has been facing the “tragic consequences” of the war for two years as over one million refugees arrived in the country, he said. Those who decided to stay in the country were offered access to education and health care, with some 1,600 schools and kindergartens now receiving Ukrainian children, he said. Szijjártó said Hungary was staging the largest humanitarian action of its history, and was ready to continue providing aid. “But we also know that the real solution to this tragic situation would be the war coming to its end, therefore we will increase our efforts to stand up for peace.”
Regarding the conflict in Gaza, Szijjártó said the protection of civilians was of paramount importance and called for aid for Egypt “which is bearing a lot of the burden”. Hungary has sent 200 ventilators and other health-care equipment to the country, he said. Szijjártó said the international community also had a responsibility to stave off the threat of terrorism, one of the root causes of migration. Creating safe circumstances for everyone to make a living in their homeland was “a global responsibility”, he said. Hungary is setting up a humanitarian and development centre in Chad, and is ready to deploy troops to the country to help combat terrorism, the foreign minister added.