Important American-Hungarian cooperation agreement finalised on the protection of persecuted Christians
Earlier today, we reported on signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between USAID and the Government of Hungary. Since then, more details have emerged which we would now like to share with our readers. This important cooperation agreement on humanitarian aid was signed by the State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and the Hungary Helps Programme and USAID, the international development agency of the United States of America. The finalising of the agreement is a recognition of the achievements of the Hungary Helps Programme and is seen as a major opportunity for further development in this area.
The cooperation agreement on humanitarian aid for persecuted Christians, signed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Levente Magyar and USAID Acting Deputy Administrator David Moore on Tuesday, will be administered on Hungary’s part by the State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and the Hungary Helps Program.
Minister of State and head of the Hungary Helps Program Azbej Tristan noted after the signing ceremony: in view of the influence of the United States in global politics, Hungary deems it of historical significance that the two countries share the ambition of helping persecuted Christian communities in the Middle East.
Mr. Azbej, a Minister of State of the Prime Minister’s Office, considers the conclusion of the cooperation agreement as an important diplomatic achievement, preceded by praise for the Hungary Helps Program by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and other American leaders.
The fact that USAID deems Hungary’s humanitarian program exemplary proves that the Hungary Helps Program not only provides direct and smart support and helps prevent migration, but also provides impetus to international cooperation. All of which is attributable to the efforts, solidarity and resourcefulness of the Hungarian people.
According to the Minister of State, the Government of Hungary has, via the Hungary Helps Program, enabled several tens of thousands of families to remain in their homeland in the Middle East, or return there to find peaceful and humane conditions if they had been forced to flee persecution.
In a related development last week, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an act on genocide in Iraq and Syria that allows the administration to take appropriate measures to assure the accountability of perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity and ethnic or religious minorities.
Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback said at the United States congressional hearing that the Hungarian program is one of the pioneers of aid for religious minorities (especially Christian and Yazidis communities) living in Northern Iraq.
The act is in line with the Hungarian Government’s policy of supporting persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria. The cooperation agreement signed with USAID supports the objectives of that policy.