Hungary to ship 10,000 tonnes of grain from Ukraine to Africa
Hungary will finance the shipping of 10,000 tonnes of grain worth 3.5 million US dollars from Ukraine to Africa as part of its efforts to resolve the global food crisis, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said after meeting his Congolese counterpart in Budapest on Monday.
Though Hungary and the Democratic Republic of Congo are geographically far apart, they are both affected by global security threats, FM Szijjarto told a press conference he held jointly with Congloese FM Christophe Lutundula Apala Pen’Apala, according to a foreign ministry statement.
Mr Szijjarto cited the example of the negative effects of the Ukraine war, such as the food crisis which affects Africa the most. He announced that Hungary will finance the shipping of 10,000 tonnes of grain worth 3.5 million US dollars from Ukraine to Africa.
„Both countries have an interest in peace being achieved as soon as possible, and in ending the armed conflicts that are holding the whole world captive. This is why we urge the necessary dialogue, a ceasefire and peace talks.”
Concerning bilateral economic ties, FM Szijjarto highlighted the electric vehicle industry and battery production as a key link between Hungary and the Congo. Hungary has the world’s third largest electric vehicle battery production capacity and will soon be ranked first thanks to the investment projects under way, the minister said, highlighting that one of the most important raw materials used in EV battery production was cobalt, and more than 70 per cent of the cobalt used by the sector comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The future success of the global EV industry depends greatly on the unimpeded extraction and supply of cobalt, he said.
Several Hungarian companies will get to contribute to this, FM Szijjarto said, noting that a 600-million-dollar infrastructure development programme aimed at linking the Democratic Republic of Congo with Zambia and Tanzanian ports will be headed by Hungarian construction companies. The project will shorten the time it takes for the raw materials to reach sea ports from over a month to around ten days, he underlined.
Touching on the responsibility Hungary feels for Christian communities across the world, Hungary’s foreign minister said the Democratic Republic of Congo was the fifth largest recipient of aid from the Hungarian government’s Hungary Helps humanitarian programme.
In conclusion, he noted that it was the first time that a Congolese foreign minister paid an official visit to Hungary, adding that this highlighted the importance of the two countries marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties this year.