Vietnamese in Hungary light a 'warm fire' for compatriots evacuated from Ukraine
|Ambassador Nguyen Thi Bich Thao chaired a meeting to discuss plans to support Vietnamese citizens evacuated from Ukraine on February 26.|
In an interview with The World & Vietnam Report, Vietnamese Ambassador in Hungary Nguyen Thi Bich Thao highlighted the spirit of solidarity and sharing of the Vietnamese community here.
The Ambassador still remembered the day when she presented the credentials in Croatia on February 24, she could feel the worry of the President and the Head of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the face of the situation in Ukraine when police cars parked throughout the centre of the capital, Zagreb.
Shortly before the wave of evacuation from Ukraine, on the car back to Budapest, Ambassador and Embassy staff immediately talked about being ready to assist Vietnamese people evacuating to Hungary, she said.
On February 26, in complying with the Official Letter No. 201/CĐ-TTg of the Prime Minister, Thao chaired a meeting with the Standing Committee of the Vietnamese Association in Hungary. At the meeting, they agreed on establishing a steering committee comprising of two working groups: the Legal-Information Team and the Logistics Team to assist Vietnamese people fleeing Ukraine to Hungary. To participate in the two working groups were all Embassy staff, key members of the Association, Women's Union, Student Union, and other unions.
Also on February 26, the Embassy sent a diplomatic note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Hungarian border police to give contacts and request the coordination in assisting Vietnamese citizens evacuating from Ukraine. The Embassy then communicated regularly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to update Hungarian regulations on immigration, transit, accommodation, as well as the procedures for arranging flights to bring citizens back home.
On March 4, in the meeting with the Mayor of the city at Záhony border gate, Vietnamese Ambassador asked the local authorities to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese evacuees. She also handed over two 3.5-ton trucks of charitable goods donated by Vietnamese people in Budapest and Nyíregyháza to support Hungarian local authorities to receive evacuees from Ukraine.
|Vietnamese from Ukraine received enthusiastic support from the Embassy and the Vietnamese community in Hungary.|
Talking about the difficulties facing the Vietnamese people when they fled Ukraine to Hungary, Thao said that the evacuees did not know much about the immigration regulations and procedures and also did not have many options for the way out of Ukraine.
"Therefore, in the early days, when Hungary only opened its humanitarian opening for evacuation across the Hungarian-Ukrainian border, many Vietnamese citizens who did not hold Schengen visa were blocked on the Romanian-Hungarian border", said the Ambassador. "The Embassy immediately updated, published and widely disseminated Hungarian regulations and give them the contacts of the Embassy and Vietnamese community in Romania".
For those evacuees who lost their personal documents or had their passports expired, the Embassy assisted them to complete necessary paperworks, with the coordination of the relevant agencies in Hungary and from Viet Nam, Thao said.
"I am extremely touched by the affection and noble gestures of Vietnamese community toward the evacuees", the Ambassador shared about the unforgottable days.
She said that the Embassy staff have been on duty around the clock for many days. They returned home very late at 1-2 am.
"Meeting with the fellows that were in distress, we did not allow ourselves to rest and promised to work together to light a warm fire for our compatriots", said the Ambassador.
According to her, the encouragement from the Party, the State, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the continuous connection between relevant authorities at home and abroad, the coordination among the Vietnamese Ambassadors in Ukraine's neighboring European countries, the sharing among Vietnamese community and the accompanying of the press agencies have brought about the synergy in assisting the evacuees out of difficult situation.