Hungary opens new transit shelter for people fleeing Ukraine

(Xinhua) 08:17, March 22, 2022

BUDAPEST, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The government of Hungary on Monday opened a 5,200-square-meter transit shelter in central Budapest for people fleeing the fighting in Ukraine.

The Budapest Olympic Center near the capital city's Eastern Railway Station offers free services, such as a heated waiting room, interpreting services, a baby and children's corner, toilets, medical care, mobile phone charging stations as well as internet access.

On site personnel will help these people with organizing accommodation, travel and administration of asylum applications, according to a government statement.

Humanitarian organizations will be able to distribute food, toiletries and other donations, said the statement.

"Hungarians are very generous," Andras Molnar, a young volunteer of local charity non-governmental organization (NGO) Budapest Bike Maffia, told Xinhua. "We have received a lot of donations, we have vast amounts of food, clothes and all kinds of products. What we need the most now are volunteers who are good at organizing the workflow."

The new shelter also assists these people in their transportation needs both inside and outside Hungary.

The Prime Minister's Office said that the new facility was needed because Hungary expects an influx of people from Ukraine.

So far, the Hungarian State Railways has distributed some 120,000 free "solidarity tickets" to people from Ukraine, most of whom are transiting Hungary towards Austria, Germany and Poland.

More than 500,000 Ukrainians have entered Hungary in the past three weeks, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a Facebook post late last week. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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