Although Chancellor Minister Gergely Gulyás said two weeks ago that Hungary had not yet received funding to care for Ukrainian refugees entering the country, a European Commission official wrote to HVG.hu that the REACT-EU fund had already provided the country with €263.2 million (US $279.4 million) out of an expected total of €299.6 million ($318.1 million) for refugee care.
The European Union decided in early April to provide financial assistance to Member States most affected by the Ukrainian refugee crisis through REACT-EU, with a total amount of €3.4 billion ($3.6 billion) allocated for this purpose.
However, REACT-EU was originally intended as an economic recovery program for countries hardest hit by the consequences of the epidemic, but had its mandate expanded for Member States to also spend the money on care for refugees arriving from Ukraine.
It now appears that the Hungarian government spent the REACT-EU funds on their original purposes of economic recovery instead of the refugees. The main problem, according to the official who spoke to the news site, is that it would have been appropriate for Hungary to spend at least part of the €263.2 million on refugees in need.
Officially, the Hungarian government is not supposed to receive any REACT-EU funding at all. Due to the high risk of corruption in the country, Hungary is the only Member State unable to access post-pandemic recovery funds offered by the European Union. [Magyar Hang]