“Every Hungarian counts, whether rich or poor… whether living in or outside pre-WWI borders,” State Secretary Bence Rétvári said addressing a conference concluding a programme aimed at helping disadvantaged Hungarian communities in neighbouring countries.
The programme was implemented by the Hungarian Maltese Charity, using European Union funds of over 911 million forints (EUR 2.6m). In his address at the conference, Rétvári said that the scheme had been aimed at “helping those granted less assistance from life”, living in extremely disadvantaged circumstances. Concerning details, he said that the programme’s experts had been placed in slums and poor Roma neighbourhoods, they built confidence with residents and offered assistance tailored to individuals’ needs. Through the programme, participants were provided “marketable skills, accommodation, and stable employment”. Ethnic Hungarians “could feel that although they may live under the authority of another state, helping hands reach out to them”. Citing Eurostat figures, Rétvári said that deep poverty among juvenile Hungarians had been reduced by two-thirds since last year, from 23% to 7.5% in the 18-64 age group, and from 16% to 6% in the older generations.