81 people have frozen to death since autumn

January 16, 2018

81 people have frozen to death since autumn
Photo: abcug.hu/András D. Hajdú

The Hungarian Social Forum (Magyar Szociális Fórum) reports that 81 people have frozen to death since autumn 2017. The most recent victim died on Monday on Kerepesi St. in the doorway of a grocery store.

Citing figures by the Central Statistical Office (KSH), Népszava reports that on average 250 people froze to death in Hungary annually between 2006 and 2016. In other words, the population of a village has perished due to exposure.

Menhely Alapitvány (Shelter Foundation) director Zoltán Aknai says there is a spike in visitors to overnight shelters during winter. He adds that such shelters are operating around 80 percent occupancy nationally, but some shelters are fully occupied in certain regions.

Habitat for Humanity spokesperson Boglárka Farkas tells Népszava that two-thirds of those who die in the cold perish in homes without heating. The most at-risk groups are the elderly and the poor, she says.

Disclaimer: We contacted the Hungarian Social Forum to ask how they obtained these figures. A representative of the organization told us the state does not provide official figures related to the number of people who freeze to death, therefore, the Hungarian Social Forum has taken it upon itself to gather data on this subject. This representative informed us that the organization will not disclose it’s own sources, nor would it disclose how it’s sources gathered these figures.