From June 2015, onwards: Increasing numbers of people arrived in Hungary in transit to other destinations in western and northern Europe.
5 August 2015: CHF 322,365 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). By the first week of August 2015, an average of 1,500 migrants were registered along the border on a daily basis, and growing to over 3,500 people a day in early September 2015.
17 September 2015: IFRC Emergency Appeal launched seeking CHF 3.58 million to assist 120,000 beneficiaries.
In the period up to 23 March 2016: Hungarian Red Cross had distributed 469,839 food parcels and 29,439 hygiene items, and had provided First Aid services to 9,124 people and psychosocial support to 7,338 people.1
5 April 2016: Based on the evolving situation, a revised Emergency Appeal was issued with a decreased budget of CHF 1.07 million and an extended timeframe of 2 months, ending in June 2016.
5 October 2016: Operations Update No 2 extended the Appeal timeframe until 31 December 2016.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the situation
During 2015, Hungary responded to an unprecedented influx of migrants entering the country. According to the reports of the Hungarian National Police (ORFK), a total of 238,491 people who transited to western Europe were registered in Hungary during 2015. The increment in numbers was exceptionally high from early July 2015, with an average of 1,000 migrants being registered along the border daily. The highest numbers were in September 2015, when 46% of the total number of migrants registered entered Hungary. In 2016, 19,236 migrants were registered, and in January and February 2017, 304 migrants were registered, making an overall total of 258,031 people registered. However, it is important to note that the official figures are lower than the actual figures.
In June 2015, the Hungarian Red Cross was requested to respond to the new wave of migration in Hungary through its south-eastern borders. The local authorities in Csongrád county requested the Hungarian Red Cross to provide daily assistance to a growing number of migrants coming through its outer border, at Röszke. On 5 August 2015, an allocation was made from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to the National Society to meet the needs of 72,000 migrants in the Röszke pre-registration facility. Subsequently, due to the increase of migrants to an average of 1,500 people per day, the IFRC, on behalf of the Hungarian Red Cross, launched an Emergency Appeal on 17 September 2015, to reach the needs of 120,000 beneficiaries.
The border with Serbia was closed in mid-September 2015 with a fence along its entire length causing the migratory routes to shift through Croatia. On 17 October 2015, the Croatian-Hungarian border was also closed, forcing the migratory routes to further shift towards Slovenia. The Hungarian authorities, with the bilateral assistance of some other states, provided intense control of the southern borders. The number of irregular border crossings lowered to about a hundred per day. Those who attempted to cross the green borders were arrested by the authorities.
During the period up to mid October 2015, the Hungarian Red Cross provided first aid and psychosocial support, medical assistance, and water and food distributions in the pre-registration facilities, at the collection points, and in the entry and exit points of the country: Beremend, Zákány, Hegyeshalom and Szentgotthàrd. Other locations for assistance were Budapest Nyugati Transit Zones and at the M1 highway. From July to mid-October 2015, the Hungarian Red Cross assisted over 300,000 people transiting through the country with food and non-food items.
From 18 March 2016, the EU-Turkey agreement brought migration flows through the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Balkan route to a relative standstill, resulting in thousands of migrants being stranded in Hungary.
Consequently, the Emergency Appeal was revised to reflect the changed situation with a decreased budget to meet the needs of 5,000 people accommodated in Hungary in reception centres and detention facilities. In these governmental facilities, basic needs and medical care were provided by the authorities. However, the Hungarian Red Cross supported with First Aid services, and provision of supplementary food and water in the facilities such as Vámosszabadi, Körmend and Röszke.
According to the Hungarian police figures, from 1 January to 31 December 2016, a total of 19,236 migrants were registered arriving in Hungary, and in January and February 2017, 304 migrants. The total number of registered asylum applicants in 2017 (until 19 March) was 1,223. As of 27 March, 104 persons were accommodated in open reception centres: Vámosszabadi hosting 31 applicants (maximum capacity: 255), Balassagyarmat community shelter hosting 13 residents (maximum capacity: 111), Kiskunhalas hosting 34 residents (maximum capacity: 200), and Körmend tented reception centre hosting 4 residents (maximum capacity: 300). On 27 March 2017, 48 asylum-seeking unaccompanied/separated children were accommodated in a child protection home in Fót.
As of 27 March 2017, asylum detention facilities run by the Immigration and Asylum Office were hosting a total of 225 persons: Nyírbátor currently accommodating 79 persons and Békéscsaba currently accommodating 146 persons. Aliens detention facilities run by the police were accommodating a total of 192 persons: Nyírbátor accommodating 141 persons (maximum capacity: 160), Kiskunhalas accommodating 3 persons, Budapest Airport accommodating 15 persons (maximum capacity: 23), and Győr accommodating 33 persons (maximum capacity: 36). As of 27 March 2017, the two transit zones (Röszke and Tompa) at the Hungarian-Serbian border were hosting 13 persons.