BUDAPEST - The United Nations refugee agency urged Hungary on Tuesday to improve conditions for the thousands of refugees and migrants arriving in the country each day and offered assistance in coping with the flood of people.
More than 150,000 refugees and migrants have crossed into Hungary from Serbia since January, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said. Most are from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq and have traveled through the Balkans towards western and northern Europe.
"UNHCR expects more people to come during the coming months," Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR's regional refugee coordinator for the refugee crisis in Europe, told a news conference, adding that 85 percent of those arriving were refugees.
"We are quite worried about the fact that a lot of people are sleeping in very dire situation at collection points," he said. "These are not facilities that are made for people to stay overnight or stay long hours."
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbanhas said the European Union should provide financial support to countries near the conflict zones, such as Turkey, so that migrants will stay there and not move on.
Hungary is also building a fence along its southern border with Serbia, which it says is necessary to protect the EU's passport-free Schengen zone. It has also proposed setting up special transit zones near the border to hold migrants and refugees while their asylum requests are processed.