There appears currently little chance that Bulgaria will get additional funding from the European Union to cope with the sharply increasing numbers of refugees from Syria crossing into the country, and for now it appears that Bulgaria will have to rely on its own resources.
This much emerged after a September 9 meeting between interior minister Tsvetlin Yovchev and European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva and European Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.
With more than 1400 Syrian refugees in Bulgaria, about half the total number of asylum seekers, facilities for temporary shelter in the country are overflowing. Conditions are reported to be dissatisfactory and a number of Syrian refugees in one centre have started a hunger strike to demand faster processing of their asylum applications.
Interior Ministry estimates are that the number of Syrian refugees in Bulgaria could reach 10 000 by the end of 2013, meaning spending of about 10 million leva (about five million euro).
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(Syrian refugees in front of UNHCR truck receiving supplies. Tripoli, Northern Lebanon. Photo: UNHCR / F. Juez / March 2012)