Appeal for funds and items to aid refugees in Bulgaria: How to donate
The Bulgarian Red Cross (BRC) has launched a fund-raising appeal in aid of refugees, against a background of a sharp increase in people seeking refuge in the country, mainly from war-torn Syria.
Bulgaria had not faced such a humanitarian crisis in 70 to 80 years, BRC head Hristo Grigorov told a September 18 2013 news conference to launch the appeal.
Sending an SMS via any of Bulgaria’s mobile operators to the number 1466 will donate one lev (about 50 euro cents) to the campaign.
Donations also can be made online from Bulgaria and abroad.
A bank account has been set up to receive donations. The account is held by the Bulgarian Red Cross at UniCredit Bulbank. The IBAN number is BG06UNCR76301000030265 UNCRBGSF.
Donations of clothes, toys, nappies and other items needed can be made at BRC offices.
The BRC said that it would finance the opening of a dining room for refugees to ensure that they get a hot meal at least once a day.
The Bulgarian government has asked the BRC to approach Red Cross headquarters in Geneva for financial assistance for dealing with the refugee situation.
The BRC already has been providing items to the State Agency for Refugees, including nappies, clothes, mattresses, bedding, pillows, towels and utensils.
Donors of items from blankets to toys to food so far have included the 29th Kindergarten in Sofia, while the Plastica firm has donated plastic utensils, plates and disposable cups.
Many individuals have donated clothing, bedding, toys and nappies.
The BRC has passed on to the State Agency for Refugees food to a value of more than 14 000 leva.
Grigorov said that the situation regarding the entry of refugees to Bulgaria was “dynamic” and it was not known how many would be arriving.
The Interior Ministry said on September 18 that within a 24-hour timeframe the previous day, Border Police had found 86 people who had crossed the border into Bulgaria from Turkey unlawfully. Of these, 79 were citizens of Syria.
As of the end of September 17, the total accommodation capacity in regional facilities of the State Agency for Refugees and the Interior Ministry was for 1930 people, and currently this figure was exceeded by 489.
On September 7, local television station bTV said that a campaign had begun in Bulgaria to raise assistance for Syrian children in the country.
A range of items was being sought – utensils, shoes for any age and gender, blankets, food, medicines, formula, nappies, strollers, toys and books.
According to the bTV report, those able to make donations should take or send them to:
– The Agency for European Integration, 10 Suedinenie Boulevard, office 1, telephone 038/62 0054, mobile 0888 139 333, e-mail [email protected]
– The Give a Smile Foundation (Фондация “Подари усмивка”), 16 Georgi Sava Rakovski Street, office 3, Dimitrovgrad
– The Alliance for Regional and Civil Initiatives, first floor, 167A Evlogi Georgiev Boulevard, Sofia, telephone 02/944 6389, mobile 0889 716 937, e-mail: [email protected]
– “Four Seasons” (“Четири сезона”) shop, 154A Knyaz Boris I Street, Sofia.
(File photo of Syrian refugees in Lebanon: VOANews)