Cesvi – in coordination with the municipality of Záhony and World Central Kitchen – is organising the first Entry Point Hub on the border between Ukraine and Hungary, near the railway station, which has become a critical arrival and transit point for people fleeing war.
Every hour, a train arrives at the station carrying on average more than 500 people. Every day, about 20 trains arrive in Záhony. Since the outbreak of the conflict more than 60,000 people have entered Hungary through this crossing point (according to Hungarian authorities). Being a small village, it lacks all the facilities to handle the passage of such a large number of people, especially with the prospect of an increase in arrivals with the opening of the humanitarian corridors.
Cesvi’s Entry Point Hub will be a 200 square metre space where 5,000 people in transit per day – mainly mothers with children – can be accommodated in a heated space with hygienic and safety standards. Here refugees will:
- receive a hot meal
- follow international news about what is happening in their country and get information about trains and buses leaving Záhony
- get all the information they need to travel
- have a powerful Wi-Fi connection and phone charging stations
- get SIM cards for contacting family and friends
- benefit from a heated space for children to sleep and play
The hub will have a capacity of 10,000 people per day, if rail services will continue to ensure a rapid turnover of people at the station.
Around Záhony station, Cesvi’s space is needed by the town to cope with the exceptional volume of the exodus from Ukraine and the complete lack of coordination to manage the flow – with numbers rising sharply day by day. The situation is on the verge of collapse. The chaotic circulation of information, the fear of missing the chance to escape on trains departing for Budapest, the lack of reception facilities and the build-up of tension over the last week, made it necessary to take action in this direction. The aim is to improve the accommodation capacity, coordination and governance of the transition centre at Záhony station, a strategic point for the entry of people from Ukraine into Europe, and for Ukrainian citizens who decide to return to their country. Záhony is the only point in Hungary where it is possible to cross the Ukrainian border by train (in both directions).
“The feeling is that this is just the beginning of a huge migration crisis. Immediate intervention is needed here,” said Andrea Ricci, Cesvi staff in Hungary.
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© Photo credits: Fabrizio Rigo