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Administrator Samantha Power Visits Hungary

On February 9, Administrator Samantha Power arrived in Budapest and met with a group of young Hungarians to discuss their aspirations and perspectives on developments in Hungary. The young Hungarians and Administrator Power then walked together through historic central Budapest. During the walk, the Administrator noted that young people have the power to advance positive change through their energy, capacity to innovate, and willingness to work across traditional divisions.

On February 10, the Administrator began the day with a student-moderated discussion at Berzsenyi Dániel High School, where they discussed public service, the U.S.-Hungary relationship, and a range of foreign affairs and development issues. When Administrator Power asked the room of 200 students how they viewed their future, a student told her, “It’s up to us to make it positive.”

She then met with Hungarian governance and rights advocates, including representatives from the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, K-Monitor, Transparency International, and Eötvös Loránd University to discuss their work supporting democracy, transparency, and rights in Hungary. The Administrator highlighted USAID’s newly launched work to help support democracy in Central Europe, including by bolstering civil society and helping independent media thrive and build new audiences. Administrator Power also held a meeting with advocates for human rights and LGBTQI+ communities, where they discussed the experiences of LGBTQI+ people in Hungary and their efforts to increase understanding, support marginalized groups, and improve the lives of LGBTQI+ people in Hungary. The Administrator emphasized that the United States will continue to stand as an ally with LGBTQI+ people and all marginalized groups in their struggle for equality.

The Administrator met with Hungarian independent journalists and representatives of media-focused NGOs to discuss their commitment to reporting on issues of critical importance and views on how to address significant challenges to media freedom. They also discussed opportunities for expanding audiences and establishing sustainable revenue streams. On the steps of the historic Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library, the Administrator then spoke with local and international media about the U.S.-Hungary relationship and USAID’s relaunched work in Hungary. Administrator Power also highlighted the life-saving work of Hungarian search and rescue teams that have deployed to Türkiye in response to this week’s earthquake.

At the U.S. Embassy, Administrator Power met with American and local staff, including USAID field staff based at the Embassy supporting USAID’s global humanitarian assistance work and Ukrainian staff who have been hosted by Embassy Budapest following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Administrator Power concluded her visit by meeting Hungarian Minister of Justice Judit Varga, Minister of Defense Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, and Chair of the Hungarian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Zsolt Németh. Administrator Power, U.S. Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman, and the officials from the Government of Hungary engaged in a candid conversation about opportunities and challenges in the bilateral relationship, as well as the importance and impact of the long friendship between the American and Hungarian people.

Source: USAID