Economic crisis strongly impacts Hungary

Job seeker in Hungary

Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies all over Europe are trying to respond to the increased number of people in need, says the organization.

Georg Habsburg, who was President of the Hungarian Red Cross for eight years, says the economic crisis has strongly impacted Central Europe, in particular, Hungary.

He says 31 percent of the population is affected by poverty and worsening living conditions.

New groups of vulnerable people now approach the Red Cross. Mr. Habsburg says he's received letters from businesses saying while in former times they had donated to the Red Cross, now it is they who need the organization's help.

Mr. Habsburg fears the crisis suffers from a lack of international public awareness.

When there is a catastrophe happening normally — if it is an earthquake, if it is flooding, if it is a volcano -– it comes with a lot of pictures from one moment to another. Press is jumping on it and you have for day after day the pictures from the catastrophe that is happening. Now we have the global economic crisis, which has much more devastating affects than this natural crisis. But it doesn't bring on one moment these big pictures that are then taken around the globe and motivating people to donate.

On the other hand, Mr. Hasberg says there has been an outpouring of volunteers wanting to help.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1’28″

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