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Tristan Azbej: “We aim to prevent migration and save lives”

Tristan Azbej, State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and the Hungary Helps Program, said in Spirit FM’s broadcast, entitled "Hungary Helps”, that their aim in Mali is to save lives and prevent migration. The Hungary Helps Program supports the local communities with seven humanitarian projects.

Since the armed conflict that erupted in 2012, and the following military coup, there has been a severe humanitarian crisis in the North African country. Even though the conflicts have not erupted on a religious basis, over time, Islamist groups took over control.

“Hundreds of thousands of people left the country and came to Europe. Mali figures on the Top ten list of migration countries where migration comes from,” said the State Secretary.

Azbej also added that Mali is only the 184th most developed out of the 189 countries listed by the UNO. Three-quarters of Mali society lives in deep poverty. Due to the climate crisis, there is insufficient food, and one-fifth of the inhabitants have no access to drinking water.

Seven projects

Through the Hungary Helps Program, the Hungarian government launched seven projects in Mali. Part of these projects aims to improve education and help the most vulnerable women in some communities. In most cases, Hungary supports unskilled women who are in a hopeless situation.

The project also supports schools in the slums, where the most significant shortage is drinking water. In half of the country’s schools, there is no drinking water at all. The volunteers of Hungary Helps provide hygiene and vocational training in schools.

Hungary helps

Through the Hungarian Armed Forces, Hungary simultaneously contributes to the creation of security and, through the Hungary Helps program, to the survival of communities worldwide.

“So, on the one hand, we have to win fights, overcome terrorists, and, on the other hand, we have to win hearts”, said the State Secretary. He also highlighted that the terrorist organisations in Northern Mali deliberately impair education and frighten children away from going to school. According to Azbej, if the children do not get an education, they cannot find a profession, and it is much easier to radicalise and recruit them to Islam.


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