Hungarian Reformed Church Aid Crisis Response Plan in Sub-Carpathia, Ukraine

2014. szeptember 12., péntek

The Hungarian Reformed Church Aid (HRCA) sees its primary field as the Carpathian Basin. One of the strengths of our organization is that we actively use the church institutions during our relief and development work. In the Carpathian Basin there are more than 1,200 congregations and their associated institutions at our disposal, and almost 100 in Sub-Carpathia. These church institutions help us in our work, not only with local background information, but also by providing infrastructure, specialists and instruments.

Social crisis

The effects of the consistently escalating political situation in Ukraine since the autumn of 2013 are becoming more and more noticeable in the average household. Day by day the crisis can be felt not only in the crisis regions (around the capital, Crimea and in the Southeast of Ukraine) but also in Sub-Carpathia, within the Hungarian minority. Inflation is constantly increasing and the payment of civil servants is unpredictable and not always paid in full. The communities are required to bear extra tasks, and the individuals enlisted to the army have to provide the necessary safety equipment (e.g. bulletproof vests, etc.).

That is why the HRCA must be prepared for the drastically increasing need for general relief in the autumn and winter months.

In addition, this may turn into a social disaster because of the fact that the debate on gas between Ukraine and Russia has still not been decided. The Ukrainian gas reserves are rapidly running out. If there is no agreement, it is also possible that there will be a full gas deficit affecting the entirety of Ukraine and also in Sub-Carpathia. That is why we have started preparing to provide a larger amount of firewood and fuel to those most in need as well as to transform the heating system.

Refugee issue

Our foundation has the appropriate experience and professional staff in a potential exodus situation to provide professional treatment. In the Hungarian area we are completely prepared to handle a potential exodus. We are in standing communication with the staff of the National Directorate General for Disaster Management of the Ministry of Interior. At the moment there are refugee receiving stations suitable for up to 150 people at the border area, but if needed this number can be extended to 1,000 people.

Our Church Aid has set up professional receiving stations based on international standards, which means that the stations can provide not only accommodation and meals but also medical supervision, bathroom and laundry facilities, babysitting services and employment.

We are constantly monitoring the situation in Sub-Carpathia and more broadly in Ukraine, so our organization will not be caught off guard in the case of an exodus.

Our organization has significant secure storage capacities on the Hungarian side of the border, which is also an important resource to handle such a situation. Should an exodus occurs, the church related institutions in Sub-Carpathia are also at our disposal.

Our foundation runs a disaster-pastoring group which is ready if needed to offer professional pastoral care for families and individuals coming to the receiving station. This group also has – keeping the values of the Church in mind - psychological case management training, providing the availability of a neutral service.

Also, our medical team, which has been tested and proven in international areas such as Burma, Afghanistan, Haiti, Japan and Philippines, is ready and able to work in the field if necessary.

Setting up a crisis kitchen

We are able to undertake the establishment of community kitchens by expanding the actual institutional capacities, in cooperation with the church related institutions in Sub-Carpathia, in case of a refugee exodus or social catastrophe.


Click here to read the main points of the HRCA Sub-Carpathian action plan 


Sándor Pál

translated by Annamária Kótay-Nagy, Anna Czenthe

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